02 Jun Meet Khavin Debbs – Roving Lead Teacher and Curriculum Coach
We’re going big here at Tiny Trees with multiple locations spread out across the city. The challenge we face is how do you support and mentor teachers in a decentralized model? Each school is small, with only a few teachers and unlike a large child care center there is no director who can step in at a moment’s notice. Our answer: Khavin Debbs. Khavin will rotate through each of our schools providing training and curriculum support. At each classroom he will also be a third teacher, role modelling awesomeness for the day. Khavin is the first to respond to the unexpected, like a sick teacher who needs to go home and the first to help a teacher problem solve a situation – like a child who needs extra support or help from a specialist.
This position is unique, and a key part of Tiny Trees’s commitment to quality. Here are a few reasons why Khavin is exactly what we need:
- Khavin has experience with a wide variety of student populations – ranging from working at a preschool for homeless children and children in emergency situations to a Montessori school and the University of Washington Childcare Center.
- Khavin is a certified High Scope trainer, the curriculum we are using here at Tiny Trees.
- Khavin has a personal passion for environmental education and has experience developing curriculum that is built upon High Scope and that helps children cultivate joy and wonder in the natural world.
- Khavin has a professional, calm and reassuring communication style that will serve him well as a coach and mentor.
- And lastly, Khavin has a high tolerance for uncertainty, a necessary trait in a job where the day’s plan may change at a moment’s notice.
Please join me in welcoming Khavin Debbs to the Tiny Trees team!
Dear Erin and Andrew:
I am applying for the Curriculum Coach/Floating Lead position at Tiny Trees Preschool. I found this position on your website after discussing environmental education with Patricio Ku at a networking event for Islandwood’s Master’s in Environmental Education programs. Kindergarten readiness, social/emotional development, and a nature rich, vibrant childhood are at the core of the Tiny Trees educational model, and I feel that as a member of your team, I could enhance all three of these.
At the Childcare Center at 70th and Sandpoint, I began as the preschool enrichment coordinator. I created the curriculum for and ran a kindergarten readiness program, which covered all of the basic subjects. My passion is in science, however, so I was able to cover many different subjects from natural disasters and the rock cycle, to the exploration of National Parks and types of feathers. Giving assessments and optional homework was a crucial part of the program, providing school readiness for parents too.
Social/emotional development is something that is extremely important yet often overlooked. As a lead teacher at University of Washington Childcare Center at Laurel Village I am able to use my skills and knowledge to help my team assist children with working through problems. Encouraging them to point out children’s achievements and not consistently offer up a “good job” is not only best practice as a teacher, but it helps to garner a positive self worth in the children as well. I also gave strategies for my team to work with a particular child who was destroying other children’s work. After some observation and anecdotal note taking , I was able to see that he was having trouble asking friends to play. From there, my team and I were able to help guide him into play by giving him the words to use. Helping him learn and retain these social skills is one of the many ways I am able to build the social/emotional development of each child.
Although Richard Louv coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder,” I feel it is one that is so fitting to our children today. The introduction of new technology, while good in its place, has taken our children out of the woods and into the virtual world of the computer screen. I work everyday to cultivate, as Rachel Carson put it, a “Sense of Wonder” that innately lives within all children. At the Mustard Seed School, I was able to take my students on nature walks, grow our own food, and through the Montessori curriculum, teach them how to love and care for the environment they inhabited.
If we are going to change our world for the future, it must start from within, and that is something that I strive to instill in my students everyday. My experiences and passion as a teacher fostering school readiness, social/emotional development, and environmental education make me an excellent addition to Tiny Trees preschool in the Curriculum Coach position.