Helping out in her son’s preschool classroom afforded Vicky Phetteplace the opportunity to discover her passion. “I loved being with the kids, helping them in their daily activities, having conversations with them and watching their eyes light up when they learned something new,” Vicky said. “I was hooked and I remember telling my husband, at the age of 34, I want to work with young children.” Her first class, Literacy for the Young Child with Barbara Rath, offered “amazing content” and Vicky couldn’t wait to take more classes.
Vicky credits Christie Colunga, Early Childhood Education faculty, with challenging the way she thought and bringing new ideas to light. Her hands-on approach to teaching and learning is impactful,” Vicky said. Meggin Kirk’s class, The Art of Storytelling, alleviated Vicky’s fears of storytelling in front of an audience. “I was extremely nervous about taking this class. Meggin gave me the tools I needed to take any type of story, tell it with feeling and be able to draw my audience in and keep them engaged.” With Ana Stigson, another influential instructor, Vicky fondly recalls learning how to create a family lending library. “I loved bringing what I learned from my early childhood classes into my classroom,” Vicky said.”
Engaging the children attending Festival of Tales afforded Vicky the opportunity to create an interactive children’s table and tell a story in a break out session to a room full of families in our community. “Kids crowded around our table to have the chance to build something out of recycled materials. The children came up with things I never even thought of! I loved watching them think and then bring their creations to life,” Vicky shared.
Vicky credits a field trip through one of Christie’s classes to the Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool, a Reggio Emilia inspired approach to early childhood education as one of her most profound PVCC experiences. “This school focuses on the environment. From the classroom to the playground, the environment is inviting, enriching and full of new learning experiences,” Vicky said. “The field trip was amazing and it gave me a clear visual for my own classroom.”
Vicky shares her vision of PVCC as “a school that strives to give the students the tools they need to make a difference in the real world with professional instructors that will do whatever they can to help you meet your desired goal.” One area of advice Vicky offers to those considering PVCC is to “make sure to check into grants, scholarships and additional financial services.”
“My experiences at PVCC have reshaped me from someone who worked in an office and never even thought of pursuing a career working with children to someone who can manage a classroom, mediate social conflict between children, make connections with children and try my best to look at the world through a child’s lens,” Vicky said. “The role PVCC has played in my profession is huge! PVCC has helped make me the teacher I never knew I could be.”