Recent graduate, Stefanie Lee, joins the Center for Early Head Start as a lead infant and toddler teacher
Stefanie Lee is graduating with her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education in 2021. Over the past few years, Lee has been taking her children to participate in the Early Head Start program. Now, Lee is a lead infant and toddler teacher for the Texas Tech Center for Early Head Start.
Lee's journey began when Texas Tech Center for Early Head Start became home base for her and her youngest son through the recommendation of Early Childhood Intervention. Together, the two could visit the center weekly in a safe environment to enhance socialization skills, which proved to be beneficial for both Lee and her son.
“During this time, my son and I got to visit the center once a week for socialization. These meetings were not just beneficial for my son, but for me as well,” Lee said.
The ability to immerse themselves in the Early Head Start program allowed her youngest son to eventually become part of the center as a student. Lee enjoyed seeing the positive impact teachers at the center had on their students through positive actions and daily involvement in their lives.
Eventually, Lee enrolled her second son in the program and wanted to know more about how she could be more active in her children's lives, thus leading EHS teachers to suggest she become a teaching assistant. After having her last child, a daughter, Lee enrolled her into the center as well and eventually saw that a position as a lead teacher in the baby classroom where her daughter attended was leaving.
“I then found out that the teacher in the classroom of my daughter was leaving, leading me to ask the center what qualifications I needed in order to one day become a teacher myself.,” Lee explained. “They told me a Child Development associates degree (CDA). I proceeded to get my CDA and became the assistant teacher in the baby room.”
Once Lee understood her love of teaching through being a teacher's assistant at the Texas Tech Center for Early Head Start, she began the course of earning her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education.
“I chose this degree because I knew that eventually, I wanted to be a lead teacher,” Lee said. “I prayed it was at the Texas Tech Center for Early Head Start, but if it was not possible, I knew that I would look for a lead position somewhere.”
Today, Stephanie has accomplished her goal of becoming a lead infant and toddler teacher at the Texas Tech Center for Early Head Start with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. The position allows Lee to develop as a teacher and be a part of children's growth while building connections with their parents.
“My job helps me let parents know that I have been where they are and that it is possible to pick yourself up and set goals to achieve,” Lee said. “I love when my families have achieved a goal, and I am able to be there to celebrate with them.”