Playtime is learning time under guidance of Moffat County preschool teacher Karen Torres
CRAIG — People who step into Karen Torres’ full-day preschool class at the Early Childhood Center are likely to see children learning through play, which Torres uses to teach her students in fun and engaging ways.
“I’ve been in early childhood since 2008. I started out volunteering in the Early Childhood Center; then, I began teaching in 2009,” she said.
The Craig Press caught up with Torres recently and asked her about her own time as a student, as well as her approach to teaching.
Craig Press: What were you like as a student?
Torres: I was an ELL (English Language Learning) student during most of my school years. Academics did not come easy, because at times, it was hard for me to understand not only the language but the culture, too. I relied on other students who spoke the English language and great teachers to help me understand what was going on around me. Once I hit middle school, I became fluent in English and Spanish, which made me feel much more confident about school.
Why did you choose Moffat County?
I grew up in Craig. When I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to teach young children. I began volunteering at the Early Childhood Center and fell in love with the program.
How has your education, training, and work experiences qualified you for your role?
I feel like receiving an early childhood degree with the knowledge that very experienced teachers shared with me has helped me become qualified for my job. I continue learning and collaborating with great teacher co-workers. I try to share what I know and hope to learn something new every day.
What do you do if your students don’t “get it?”
I try different strategies, such as games, one-on-one interactions, and songs. I like to find out what they are struggling with and individualize a way to help them master that skill.
How do you measure your success as an educator?
I think success is measured by knowing that children are comfortable in the learning environment. I love to see children mastering skills and challenging themselves to new things. I like to look back at every beginning of the year and how students have grown every day in many ways.
How are you involved in the community outside school?
I am part of the strategic planning committee for Moffat County School District.
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
I am very proud of the great things preschoolers do in the classroom. Although they are the youngest students in our district, they can accomplish amazing things. I’m very thankful and honored to teach young children and be part of their day.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
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