20 Jun Meet Elisha Ishii – Assistant Teacher at Jefferson Park (AM)
A big welcome to Elisha Ishii, our new assistant teacher at Jefferson Park. Tiny Trees is very much a combination of two of Elisha’s great passions – being an awesome mentor and educator for young people and the outdoors. She has many talents, but here’s a few we’re particularly excited about:
- She has a wealth of experience working with children of all ages, abilities and many cultural backgrounds in a variety of settings.
- She is a mother of two children; ages 3 and 5
- She is full of energy, enthusiasm and patience. A powerful combo for an early childhood educator.
- She is passionate about the outdoors and gardening.
- She is conversant in Spanish and Japanese (Awesome point: All three of our Jefferson Park teachers speak Spanish!).
Please welcome Elisha to the Tiny Trees team!
I was informed by Rita Alcantara that Tiny Trees is still looking to hire part time assistant teachers. I believe I am qualified to be an assistant teacher for Tiny Trees because I have experience with children from a variety of backgrounds, and because I love the outdoors.
I have worked in many settings: a traditional child care center in Queen Anne, a homeless shelter with children escaping domestic violence, an outdoor environmental program with school aged children, and most challenging of all, having my own two kids.
Every one of these experiences has led me to believe that stable environment and outdoor play is extremely important for child development. Children are the most happy when they can be free to express themselves outside. At Kidspace, I was in a classroom setting with children who came regularly and would have a set daily schedule. There, I learned how to help children problem solve when there were conflicts, and how to support the children who were homesick, tired or grumpy to get them to a place where they wanted to participate in our activities.
At Catherine Booth House, I worked with both the children and their mothers to get help get them situated and comfortable in the shelter for 90 days. I would try to connect and engage with each child, age 0-18 old, in playgroups, tutoring, field trips and conversation to understand and support them the best I could during their short stay.
At Gordon Carter Education Center, I met new groups of students every week and we spent days outside, rain or shine, exploring our surroundings. Many students had lived in Bellingham their whole lives and had never seen what a nettle looked like, what mud felt like, or noticed how many living things existed in the forest, because many of them hadn’t had the opportunity to spend time outside. It was an amazing experience to watch the students discover things with so much excitement.
With my own two children, I am constantly learning new things. I have learned to appreciate their unique needs and personalities. They each thrive when they have the opportunity to experience the world at their own pace, in their own way. This has helped me understand how to meet the needs of other kids I work with. This year, it has been really helpful for me to attend a coop preschool. We have amazing teachers that teach the parents every month at parent meetings about child development and give us new ideas to help deal with conflicts in our households, and as parent teachers in the classroom.
These experiences make me a strong candidate for the assistant teacher position at Tiny Trees. I hope to have the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications. Please let me know if you have any questions at all. I look forward to hearing from you.