Interview with Pre-K Teacher Ms. Paula Yisette Jimenez

There are many job opportunities in the education field and many different paths to get to them. That is why it is helpful to hear from people that have already gone through the process to see what paths might be a possibility for you. K12JobsNJ has interviewed Paula Yisette Jimenez, a Pre-K Teacher. Hearing about her unique experience can help you in your decision-making process of working in the education industry.

Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

A. My name is Paula Yisette Jimenez. I am a Pre-Kindergarten teacher of an Inclusion classroom, in the Passaic County Public School System. After obtaining a BFA in Interior Design, I always felt the need to help children. I became a Certified Pre-Kindergarten teacher through the Alternative Route. My passion for educating and helping young children motivated me to pursue higher education by earning a MA Early Childhood that allowed me to enhance my knowledge in the field.   

 Q. What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?

A. My favorite thing about being a Pre-Kindergarten teacher is providing children’s first experience in school and nurturing their desire to learn. Pre-K teachers have the responsibility to introduce children to a new world of growing in a developmentally appropriate environment with different areas of learning.  

Q. What inspired you to become a teacher?

A. What inspired me to become a teacher is the personal responsibility of giving back to my community. To be able to work directly with young children and creating a positive impact on them, has always been my biggest inspiration, satisfaction, and accomplishment. 

Q. Since the pandemic many students continue facing social and emotional issues. What are you doing to try to address these issues?

A. During and Post pandemic, our school district has played a very important role by offering intensive trainings and programs to the teachers in implementing the areas of Social/Emotion. I implement different strategies on a daily basis to help children overcome negative issues and situations that the children faced during/after the pandemic. As part of my schedule, I continuously introduce modeling and role-playing activities during different parts of the classroom’s daily routine, to assist and help children develop strong social/emotional level.  

Q. Can you describe a typical day as a Pre-K teacher?

A. A typical day as a Pre-K teacher starts with understanding that every child comes from different backgrounds, additionally, some students are at different developmental levels. It is my responsibility to provide all students with a caring and loving environment. Every child should feel welcome and comfortable at school. As a Pre-K teachers, I am responsible to teach my students basic skills in Literacy, Mathematic, Art, Fine/Gross Motor and Social/Emotional. 

Q. What can school districts do to support someone in your role?

A. Districts can support Pre-Kindergarten teachers by providing materials to work with, training, technology tools to help students and assistance in helping children with speech or behavior issues.

Q. What is something you wish people knew about teaching Pre-K?

A. Teaching Pre-K provides the opportunities to shape little minds and help children get the confidence needed with a strong base to move on to higher grades. 

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