We are excited to introduce this new series on the Yellow Brick Road blog; Meet The Director! We are interviewing each of our directors to give our families and our community a peek into the daily lives and background of our directors! This week we are introducing you to Ms. Natalie! Natalie has worked for Yellow Brick Road since February of 2020 as our Plymouth Director. She has stepped into our Eden Prairie school as an interim director over the last few months, bringing her fun spirit and the embodiment of our core values with her!
Let’s get to know Natalie a little bit more through some questions!
When we asked Natalie why she began her career in Early Childhood Education, this was her response!
“I have worked with children since my very first job as a lifeguard and swim instructor at 15 years old. Since I was little I was always the one babysitting or drawn to playing with kids. When I decided to go to school I knew that it had to be in a field working with children and my path was between working in Elementary Schools or working with younger children. I just knew that working with the younger children was my jam. I knew I wanted to be someone who helped teach the foundations of life.”
In every field, profession, career, calling, etc. everyone has their “why” behind their passion. It is clear that Natalie’s passion is fuled by her promise to her student’s successes and her love for early childhood education!
After understanding Natalie’s background, it is important to know why she choose to join #TeamYBR!
“I previously had been a director and was looking for a new company that was not a large name brand. I wanted something that would be smaller and have more of a family feel. I applied at Yellow Brick Road and met with Jessica and Kylie and left my interview in love with Yellow Brick Road and the level of support that was shown to me.”
Being a professional in the early childhood education means that we have insight on child development in every stage from infancy to kindergarten! We asked Natalie what advice she would give to a first-time parent as they are touring preschools to find the perfect school for their child.
“My best advice is to go with your gut. Find the school where you know your child is going to learn, have fun, be well taken care of, and be oh so loved!”
We encourage our parents, and all parents really, to trust your “parent-intuition”. You know what is best for your child, and we are here to support you, your decisions, and your goals at Yellow Brick Road!
Of course, every day looks different as a director at Yellow Brick Road, but we wanted to know what Natalie looks forward to most each morning. Her answer is a definite constant inside of our schools, regardless of how the day may look on her end!
“ALL THE HUGS! Seriously that’s my absolute favorite part of my days.”
As leaders we understand that to lead diligently, we have to be actively developing ourselves and our skills. We asked Natalie what ares she feels that she has grown in professionally since beginning her career with Yellow Brick Road.
“I have grown as a whole person since being with Yellow Brick Road. I have found that I really am good at being a director. Before starting at Yellow Brick Road I was questioning if being a director was actually the right career for me. Since joining the Yellow Brick Road family I found that directing is for me. I have grown in my leadership, my confidence, my relationships with my teachers and families, and so much more! I am so excited to be a part of a company that has helped me grow and will continue to help me grow.”
When asked which core value stood out to Natalie, her answer came out fast and easy!
Anyone who knows Natalie, knew that this would be the core value that stood out most to her!
Our last question for Natalie was; “What piece of advice would you give to a teacher beginning their career in early childhood education?”
“You are going to have up and down days, so cherish each day! Enjoy and learn from the tough moments, grow in the silly moments, and find lessons everything you do. Things might go seamlessly and some days may not go as planned, but as long as you have students who are learning, happy, and having fun, you are doing it right.”
Having spent years in a classroom before becoming a director, and then going on to lead teachers, Natalie is a resource and a guide for all of her teachers. She wants to see them succeed the same way that they strive for success in their student’s development!
Finally, here are some books that Natalie recommends!
Favorite Children’s book:
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, and Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Favorite book that inspired Personal Growth:
The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon