I began my work with children 30 years ago with a position as a nanny for a family friend. I loved it so much that I attended Nanny College, then spent many years working with parents to give their children a solid foundation to explore the world. I have since worked in preschools, museums, non-profits, and as a school photographer. I hold a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University, where my studies focused on early learners in the museum setting. I have presented at state and local level conferences on topics including Art and Social-Emotional Learning, Process-Based Art, and Museum Programs for Preschoolers.
I believe that the best learning environments are play-based, where adults create opportunities for children to explore, allow them time to figure things out for themselves and support their growing social-emotional skills.
I am the newest educator at Novato Parents Nursery School, having started here in October, 2019. Originally I'm from the Netherlands and first came to the United States in 1984, where I became an au-pair in Kentfield, living with a family for a year and caring for their three young children.
I recognized my love for children throughout that first year, and knew already then that I would be surrounded by these little explorers throughout a large part of my life. Being in my seventh year of teaching preschool, I realize how much I enjoy laying the foundation for the young children in order to prepare them for the bigger school system. Beside teaching, I enjoy taking a class at the junior college now and again, which includes swimming, modern dance, and also an ECE course. On the weekends, I tend to coach birthday parties at a gymnastics academy where I used to coach full-time children ages two to twelve. I am also a member of a Latin Dance company, based out of California, that performs around the country.
I had a wonderful childhood myself, by which I have the fondest memories of “pretend” play. I do enjoy adult life, though admit, at times, I do miss being a child again.... Lucky for me, I can easily visualize myself being a child again through the eyes of those young minds I teach...the best part of teaching preschool!