When discussing how to increase achievement in schools, early childhood education and preschool is often brought up as a way to help young learners get ahead. Monica Jimenez talks about her education and how she helps students in the Houston area.
What degree program did you study?
“I studied at several different local universities including the University of Houston, Texas Southern and San Jacinto College. It took me several years to determine what type of career I wanted to pursue. It also took me time to find the appropriate degree program. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Houston.”
What does your current position entail?
“I am the center director for Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center in Mag Creek. I manage the day-to-day operations for the center which is licensed to serve 280 students between the ages of six weeks and 12 years of age. We offer classroom and group activity settings, including ample play area both inside and outside the facility, and on-site meal services.”
Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?
“There is no doubt that my education has been instrumental in guiding my career. However, my two decades of experience working with children is what truly sets me apart in the educational childcare industry. On-the-job experience has been key to my development. I have worked with children of all ages in all types of settings which has helped me grow both personally and professionally.”
Do you have any advice for people who would be interested in pursuing a similar career?
“My career is incredibly rewarding. The best advice that I can share with others is to find a career that they are passionate about. I look forward to working with children and their families. I enjoy watching my students grow, learn and develop. There are few things more magical than having a parent explain to me how well-adjusted and prepared their son or daughter was for elementary school. It’s these moments that prove to me that I am truly making a difference in the lives of my students.”
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.