Staff & Classrooms
The Appalachian Child Development uses a “theme approach” each week. The themes tie in all areas of development (social, emotional, physical, personal skills) as well as reinforce cognitive activities. We have an excellent staff and want you to know their individual philosophies for their classroom. Meet them briefly through this information.
Assistant Director/2-Year Old Teacher - Paula Hicks
Paula began her career at the Appalachian CDC in 1991. She has 2 daughters (Lindsay - ASU CDC Alumni 1999 and is now attending Appalachian State; and Abby - ASU CDC Alumni 2002!) and her husband, Bobby, is also employed at Appalachian. Mrs. Paula is the administrator in charge of the center in the absence of the director.
Mrs. Paula’s philosophy working with two year old children: “The two-year old children need accelerated learning opportunities that enhance their developmental growth; however it is important to remember that in many ways two-year olds are still babies and need our patient care. They are beginning to become potty trained. Two-year olds understand and say many words and begin sentence structuring. Their self-control is very limited and needs to be directed into social play and cooperation. Quality care means developmental care that helps children to develop both their minds and bodies in safe, stimulating, and healthy place. Two year olds have much to learn! They are beginning to understand getting along with other children and to take care of themselves independently. We provide them with safe ways to explore and help them think about what they are doing. We provide them with a developmentally appropriate learning environment that contributes to their being loved and secure.”
Infant Teacher - Wanda Coles
Wanda began her career at Appalachian CDC in August of 1993. She has worked with infants for 29 years, has two grown children (Terrence and Katrina).
Ms. Wanda’s philosophy working with infants: “Providing quality child care by meeting three specific goals:
- helping babies feel special: showing children that they are valued builds self-esteem and encourages social interaction and development.
Task: maintaining eye contact with child; use baby’s name when we talk to him/her; utilize kind, clear voice tone, use routines as opportunities for “special personal time with child; use praise and delight when interacting with baby; have frequent conversations repeating sounds back to the infants.
- problem-solving: the main challenge with infants is meeting the needs communicated by crying. Babies have been found to cry far less and feel more secure when cries are answered quickly as we do her at ASU CDC. The challenge is multiplied when caring for a group of infants.
Task: respond to cries as immediate as possible; stay calm; allow baby to adjust to new environment or people at own rate; know each baby well and each one’s reaction to various soothing techniques.
- implementing activities into schedule. It is important to make time for both care and play. Infant schedules must be made for flexibility. Activities will be planned ahead of time.
Task: Provide a variety of environments for the babies each day; provide a variety of developmentally appropriate toys, provide low open shelves with safe toys for encouragement of crawling and walking; use verbal interaction combined with activities; talk to the babies about what they are doing; verbalize what children are seeing, tasting, smelling, hearing, and feeling.
Toddler Teacher - Karen Church
Mrs. Karen is married to D.E. Church and they have a daughter, Brooke (an ASU CDC alumni 1999!) and 2 grown sons (Brian and Brad); and two grown daughters (Erika and Andrea). Mrs. Karen has 3 grand-daughters and 3 grandsons!
Karen has been employed at the ASU CDC for 24 years. Mrs. Karen believes: "Toddlers need to be made to feel special. We provide the quality care that helps our children develop both their minds and bodies in a safe and healthy environment. We continually encourage our toddlers to get along with others, to increase their language use, and to learn how to take care of themselves. Toddlers are continually learning ~ whether it be during play time, lunch time or nap time! We provide self-directed activities and teacher-directed activities to make their learning experiences interesting and fun. We use the world around us to help our toddlers develop physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally so that they are prepared to move into the two-year old group."
Three Year Old Teacher - Robin Hawkins
Ms. Robin is an Appalachian Alumni ('89) with a degree in Psychology - concentration in Child Development. Robin has two sons, Jordan and Justin! Justin attends Appalachian State. Robin is married to Lee Hawkins, Observatory Assistant in Physics & Astronomy.
Ms. Robin's words are" "I am very excited to work with children in this age group, they are so curious and excited about life. As the three-year old teacher I will incorporate play and learning which is both structured and unstructured. We will spend time enjoying the creative arts through art, music, and creative dramatic activities. Children will learn how to develop positive relationships and build socialization skills. We will learn how to be sensitive to others feelings and needs. Our daily centers will be stimulating, creative, beneficial, and most of all fun! The three-year old child is filled with wonder and amazement of life around them. I look forward to our year together filled with many opportunities to learn and grow."