Our teachers are incredible!
It's as simple as that. They love and care for your kiddos with patience, kindness, and teaching though modeling behavior. They are the cream of the crop and important to our mission and vision, in every way. Allow us to introduce you to some new faces around our Wenatchee & Cashmere locations!
Founder and Director of TEAMS Learning Center
In Joy's words, "As soon as I walked into my first early childhood education class, I knew it would be my passion in life. I fell in love with what I was learning! I continued taking every class, training, and seminar on child development at two different colleges in in Monterey and Salinas California. I worked at two different Montessori programs helping me understand the levels of quality within the same field. The birth of my second son, taught me SO much more about parenting. None of the typical parenting advice and practice worked. My son had a unique personality that forced me to stop trying what I had heard and start observing what I see. He clearly told me what he needed, when I took the time to look.
During this time, I was utilizing a lot of programs from the specially designed Hartnell College of child development center. I started there as a parent co-op, then a student, then asked to be a staff member, and then 3.5 years later, a mentor - teaching others. I loved my time there! Through connections I made there, I ventured into the world of early learning centers. I learned what poor early learning education really looked like, how it could be improved with support and help from volunteers and interested parents. Higher quality was achievable when given a chance by the community.
A good friend approached me and asked me to join her in creating Avendale Child Development Center. A high quality, full time, learning center for 45 children in Seaside, CA. We started with a condemned drug building and turned it into a living philosophy of learning though play, child development and community awareness. The program was and still is, a continued success because of her dedication.
Suddenly, my life adventures took me to Wenatchee when my youngest son was only six months old. I knew no one. I decided to focus on my kids, volunteering and learning about my new town. For over a year I asked about early learning and checked out every program that was suggested. I interviewed teachers and was discouraged about what I saw. The median level of quality was so much lower than the anything I had seen before. The best place, was not as good as the worst place I'd seen in California. I knew something had to be done.
This is where the Learning Curve was created. To raise the bar for quality and give my youngest son, the best education possible. I'm proud of the community involvement and outreach. The trainings and tours we gave to area professionals, the three locations we grew to, and the hundreds of families we helped over the 9.5 years in business. This for-profit learning center had 23 men and women working together, paving the way towards early learning childhood education. In 2012, the state of Washington took away funding for mid to low-income families. This decision devastated my program and was the fatal blow that forced me to close my doors. It killed me to know that I was sending my families into a community that did not value early learning. There simply weren’t enough quality choices available.
After an agonizing year of self-discovery and healing, I returned to teaching and to Wenatchee with my mission clearer than ever. I knew I needed to open another program to model quality again, I knew that it had to be a non-profit organization and it needed to be where I could make a greater impact, so I went to work. I hired a non-profit mentor and studied non-profits, I researched the area and I came up with this smaller stepping stone model to be able to achieve the larger program one day. Hence, TEAMS Learning Center was born."
Teacher Alicia came to TEAMS as a stay-and-play momma of one. She found her niche in the classroom and Teacher Joy saw great talent in her compassionate personality. She originally found TEAMS as a stay at home mom trying to find a way to combat her postpartum anxiety and socialization for her little one. The spectacular Teacher Alicia came to TEAMS about a year after we opened and worked her way through the volunteer orientation and eventually became a part of our team of teachers. Not only is she a loving, caring teacher but she is an organized assistant director. She was an enormously important part of navigating the licensing process shortly after welcoming another baby to her beautiful family. When asked what inspires her she replied with “how much they [the kids] actually teach you when you’re the one called teacher.” As a mother of two charismatic girls, Teacher Alicia wonderfully brings a huge heart and plenty of laughs to the classroom. “Come and join us you’ll fall in love too.”
In February of 2017, I found myself entering the front doors of TEAMS Learning Center as a nanny. This was 8 months after graduating high school, 3 months after moving home from California and 3 months after my dad spent a week in the ICU, resulting in me changing my plans of becoming a nurse. To say the least I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. That’s when I found a help wanted sign at TEAMS. I asked Teacher Joy if I could apply and she said yes, asked me to pick out a book and come back and read it.
The next day I read that story during snack time, I don’t think one child listened to that story. But TEAMS needed another staff member and I could play with kids. Three years later I have been a teacher, left for college, come back, became the curriculum writer and executer, the program supervisor and most recently the assistant director!
Teacher Joy took me under her wing and built me in to Teacher Makenna. She taught me more than any class or degree could. She has believed in me and put countless hours in to creating the best teacher she could. Nothing I can do can thank her enough for making me Teacher Makenna.
Through the years TEAMS has been my happy place. Through anxiety, college stress and life stress I can always count on TEAMS to bring me a slice of happiness. I have found friends and family through this incredible place and it’s amazing people. I went from a quiet, anxious, nervous table washer to a compassionate, outgoing and happy teacher. I have made life long friends, incredible memories and an unimaginable impact on hundreds of children and their families.
At TEAMS we aren’t child care providers, we are teacher in the most valuable stage of life. We are speakers of the importance of the first five years. We are spreading a message and creating a space for children to learn and have fun doing it. We are teaching children valuable lessons for life and teaching their parents how to be their best and teaching teachers how to be their best too. We are a million and five different important things. But most importantly we are here to make an impact.
Teacher Joy founded this non profit because we have a huge lack of early childhood education in our valley. The most important years of brain development are the first five and we need to embrace that. We need every child to have a safe space to play with a purpose.
I encourage you to share your TEAMS story if you have one. I urge you to donate because we need your help to make a difference.
We love our parent, grandparent, and family volunteers! It's an awesome way to get a feel for our program, learn more about early childhood education, and get some sweet baby cuddles!
Interested in becoming a regular volunteer in our classroom? Check out our booking page and join us for a monthly orientation and get acquainted with our curriculum, TEAM culture, and staff. Free childcare available for the night.
OUR GOVERNING BOARD
As TEAMS Learning Center is a 501c3 non-profit, the governing board of TEAMS is a group consisted of invited individuals, who are responsible for overseeing the organization's activities. Boardmembers meet periodically thought the year to discuss and vote on the affairs of the organization. The governing board, focuses on the TEAMS mission, strategy, and goals, to be sure that staff members and advisory board members are implementing the mission appropriately. These seats are non-paid, voluntary, and invited by the Founder and Director of TEAMS.
OUR ADVISORY BOARD
The advisory board at TEAMS Learning Center is a volunteer group of parents, community members, small business owners, and those interested in furthering the success of TEAMS. It was formed to give advice and direction for the support to the non-profit's governing board and staff. The main focus of the advisory board is to help implement the big picture ideas, assist in planning and carrying out fundraisers, and give advice on new changes and/or give recommendations as needed. The advisory board meets every last Thursday of each month at 5:30pm in the Adult Learning Center. Free and open to the public, come join us, or find us here.