Child Care Partnership Teacher Success

Nancy Fernandez is an Assistant Teacher in a two-year-old classroom at La Causa in Milwaukee.

For the past two years, she has enjoyed a professional development partner from Next Door who is making a huge difference in her teaching.

“I’ve been growing a lot, especially with her helping me,” Nancy said. “I feel like I’m a different teacher right now, more confident and more secure.”

Nancy works with Lesvia Gregory – a Next Door instructional coach in the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership program, which Next Door leads through a federal grant.

The EHS-CCP program includes 11 partnerships sites in Milwaukee, like La Causa, where Next Door instructional coaches work closely with teachers to raise the quality of learning and care in their classroom. The ultimate goal of the program is to increase family access to high quality early childhood education in Milwaukee.

“I love it because sometimes we have questions and we have struggles and Lesvia is always there for us,” Nancy says.

Lesvia monitors Nancy’s teaching strategies through classroom observations – some of which are recorded. Nancy says these experiences are becoming less and less nerve-wrecking as she learns to block out Lesvia and incorporate the advice she’s learning from her.

“She’s always telling us that when we interact with the children, we have to become one of them and think like them. And she says we shouldn’t wait for them to come us – we need to go to them,” Nancy said.

Nancy receives one-on-one coaching sessions from Lesvia at least once a week. They discuss Nancy’s performance, review her use of student assessment tools and address anything further Nancy may need.  

In addition to the personalized instructional coaching, the teachers at the partner sites have access to professional development opportunities, like Jump Start Trainings organized by Next Door four times a year. Nancy attends these trainings with more than 100 teachers and enjoys the experience.

“You learn a lot and get to know people from the other partner organizations,” she said.

The trainings and instructional coaching include advice on working with parents as well. Nancy says she’s grateful for everything.

“I know right now I can do things that I couldn’t do before, and when I have doubts, Lesvia makes me feel like I can do it,” Nancy said.  

To read more about EHS-CCP and our other partners, check out our 2018 Report to the Community.

In November of 2017, the EHS-CCP program won a Nonprofit Excellence Award from the BizTimes. Click HERE to read more.