In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we sat down with some of our early childhood educators to learn more about why they do what they do.

Ms. Kim has been at CentroNía since 2004, and has spent her life teaching. “It began in elementary school,” she says. “I would always help others who needed it with their work. I used to help my siblings with their homework too, and I started to like helping other people with reading and math — helping them master whatever they wanted.”

When we ask why she transferred that passion into a career in early childhood education, Ms. Kim’s face lights up. “I’m a kid at heart” she explains. “I like playing with them, the laughter, seeing their growth and development as they interact with their peers in the classroom.”

One of Ms. Kim’s favorite things about CentroNía is the multicultural approach to learning. At CentroNía teachers celebrate the many vibrant cultures that make up our community. Aside from education, families can also access vital resources and services they need to thrive.

“CentroNía is different not only because of the multicultural diversity, but the outreach it does with parents. CentroNía gives them a lot of opportunities. It’s family-oriented. The level of care extends beyond the classroom into the community,” she says.

Like the rest of the team at CentroNía, Ms. Kim believes early childhood education is crucial for children. She sees the difference it makes in their lives and the impact it has on each child’s development – both socially and physically. For Ms. Kim teaching young children is an opportunity to build a strong foundation and lifelong love of learning.

So what keeps Ms. Kim going? She’s motivated by the growth she sees in the children especially as they understand and communicate with her in English and Spanish. To other teachers, Ms. Kim says, “Continue doing what you’re doing — sometimes it’s not easy, but we have a powerful effect on children and society. Teachers impact children’s lives forever.