Nicole earns position at Child Development Laboratory School
Nicole solidified her decision to teach with kids while working at a day care in high school. With her career interests in mind, she decided to attend Iowa State and study early childhood education.
While visiting Iowa State, she toured the Child Development Laboratory School. Immediately she knew she wanted to work there.
“When I toured Iowa State I knew I wanted to work there,” she said. “It fits with my major, it’s prestigious, and compared to other day cares I worked at, I felt I’d get more feedback from the teachers there.”
Instead of waiting for emails offering her the opportunity to apply, Nicole went to the website and Job Board in search of an application her freshmen year. She found it and got hired as an undergraduate assistant.
“I was excited, but nervous,” she said. “I saw how professional they were. This was a different atmosphere than the day cares I worked at – it was a little intimidating. But overall, I was really excited.”
But she had nothing to worry about. Instantly, Nicole felt at home and the kids enjoyed her presence. She worked with two- to three-year olds at first, and the following semester she switched to newborns to two-year olds. Her primary job is to assist the teachers and give them breaks. She also finds herself changing diapers, getting bottles ready, and her favorite part – playing with kids.
Looking ahead, Nicole hopes to spend her remaining undergrad years working at the Child Development Laboratory School, but maybe switching ages.
“I love it,” she said. “But I want to work with preschoolers and kindergartners to see what that’s like.”
Nicole said she’s learned a lot from her short time in the Child Development Laboratory School, but most importantly, she’s learned the importance of the early childhood years.
“It’s important to see kids as people and not just as ‘cute,’” she said. “The early years matter so much, and you need to be particular with language and give them the proper amount of attention; they need it.”