Teaching and child care aren't always first career paths.
Sandy Britton decided to get into the child care field because it represented a way she could get back to work and take her adopted son along with her.
That convenience quickly gave way to enjoyment - "I quickly found that I enjoyed working with and spending time with the children in my care," Britton said - and she has been at it ever since.
Britton is the lead teacher for the toddlers at Jefferson DeFrees Family Center. She was born and raised in Warren and lives with her husband of almost 30 years, their son who is a recent Warren Area High School graduate and plans to attend culinary school, and two cats.
Why did you become a teacher?
I first started working in child care as a way to go back to work after adopting my son. As I was able to bring him with me, this was an ideal solution. I have since been working in child care for thirteen years.
What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
One of my favorite activities to do with the children is reading to them. I love to see their smiles and excitement as the story unfolds. Children like to look at the pictures and will "story-tell" reading familiar books. How cool is it to have a child 'read' a story to the teacher? Reading is also a great way for families to spend time together. It also promotes early vocabulary and literacy skills in young children.
What frustrates you most about teaching?
I find it frustrating when I am not able to give a child the help he/she may need. Some situations go beyond my expertise or there is only so much time I can spend with each child during a normal day.
What advice could you give to someone who was thinking of becoming a teacher?
A potential teacher should spend time in the classroom as a volunteer or summer helper. This is a great experience and will let you know if it is something you would truly enjoy.
If you could recommend one thing to parents to help their children in school, what would it be?
Read to your child, talk, and spend time with them!
What is your favorite classroom story?
A favorite recent memory is making "muffin pizzas" with the children. The concentration and enthusiasm that they showed in this activity was awesome to be a part of and they were a great tasting snack.
What should I have asked you but didn't?
What are my favorite hobbies? Reading and doing Sudoku puzzles helps me unwind.