Seven KinderCare Education employees will celebrate 40 years (or more) with the company this year. We’re honoring each of those educators in ONE with our “7 weeks of great educators” series. This week we meet Pauline Crump, an assistant director at the 76th Street KinderCare Learning Center in Milwaukie, Wisc., celebrating her 40th anniversary with KinderCare. A former center director, Crump’s center was the first KinderCare in the state to earn accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. When her center closed she transferred to the 76th Street center and became the assistant director. She always knew education was the field for her.
“I grew up in a family of educators,” Crump said. “Watching their passion in the teaching field made me just as passionate about working with children, watching them grow and develop into responsible adults. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I have had the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of the many children and families that we have served and continue to serve.”
What brought you to KinderCare?
I had a young child and I felt it would be great to be with my child daily and have the opportunity to mold other children as well.
What age group do you prefer?
My preferences are toddlers and twos. They are very rambunctious, inquisitive, and receptive to learning. They challenge you daily and every minute.
Looking back over the past 40 years of your KinderCare career, what’s a favorite moment of yours?
My favorite moment is having the opportunity to educate a third generation of one family. The mom recently adopted a foster child, and she hopes I am around to care for his children too. That brings joy to my heart.
What keeps you coming back to work each day?
The children – [the opportunity for] shaping, molding and educating a future generation.
Have any of your former students returned to visit you? How does that make you feel?
Yes I have [had] many visits. I am very proud that I was instrumental in laying their foundation to become successful in life.
What’s changed in the early childhood education field since you began your career here?
Technology has had a major impact on education.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Use all resources available (especially your coworkers) to solve any issues that occur.
What advice would you give your younger self on your first day at KinderCare?
Be patient, do not stress over the things you cannot change, and change the things that cause the stress.