Spangler: Preschool more important than ever

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A career in childcare has been exactly the right fit for Lucy Spangler.

Spangler has taught the older 2-year-old class at Crawford Street Playschool for five years.

“I think now days more than ever, preschool is very important,” she said. “I take my job seriously.”

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Spangler has a very specific routine she follows with her eight students every day. To start the day, she says the Lord’s prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Then the class claps and sings the ABCs, the days of the week and the months of the year. Next the students learn about body parts to get them moving before learning about colors, sizes, shapes, directions, animals and weather.

The rest of the day students typically do crafts, play outside, eat a snack and take a nap. Each student also has a job that they are responsible for like leading the line or praying. Spangler teaches sign language to all of her students as well to work on their motor skills.

“I have found that is very effective,” she said.

Spangler said her favorite thing to do in class is the dinosaur dance. Each day the class does the dance when it’s time to go home. She said it helps the children miss their parents a little less and gives them something to look forward to at the end of the day.

“We have so much fun,” she said.

Teaching is a creative outlet for her and she loves coming up with crafts and making bulletin boards for her students.

“I love the children. I love teaching them and explaining to them what’s going on. It’s fun to do the crafts and be creative,” she said.

Spangler’s love for her job has pushed her to get back in the classroom herself. She is working on a Child Development Associate, or CDA, certificate through The Care Courses School Inc. She has completed the 120 hours of online coursework and is currently working to finish her portfolio. Next she will be evaluated in the classroom and will take a test to get her certificate in March.

“I want to be a better teacher. I want to help the parents,” she said. “It’s been excellent. It’s helped me individualize my teaching because every child is different, and you have to teach a different way because children learn different ways.”

Spangler, a Clinton native, has been working with children since 1997. She provided childcare for a family before she started substitute teaching at Crawford Street in 2002.

Once her own children were school age, she transitioned to a full-time teacher at the school. Spangler now has a 13-year-old daughter who goes to Academy of Innovation and a 10-year-old daughter who goes to Bowmar Elementary.