For me, working with young children is nothing short of a calling. I became an aunt at the age of eight. By the time I was a teenager, I had 8 nieces and nephews. I was the designated caregiver at all family functions – my path had begun.
I got my Early Childhood Education units at Moorpark College, where I also studied Theater Arts. I taught my first pre-school class at the age of nineteen. I worked in several different types of schools, privately owned, church related and large chain, but it is in the co-op that I found my home.
I have been at La Playa since 1993. In 1995, I attended Pacific Oaks College to continue my education in Human Development. I find the study of child development fascinating and enjoy keeping up with the latest literature. My biggest professional influences are Alfie Kohn, Becky Bailey and Bev Bos.
The co-op is wonderful because I not only get to work with children, but with their families as well.
As a young child, I imagined making a difference in the lives of children. I’m blessed that I have this opportunity to do so.
I began teaching preschool in 1988. I quickly discovered how much I loved working with young children—they taught me a lot. I got a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and Dance—embracing my creative, physical and cognitive sides. After teaching for a number of years I was inspired to go back to school to earn my Master’s Degree in Human Development. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. I attended Pacific Oaks College which paralleled my philosophy in education. I was forever transformed by what I learned there and I continue to refer to books, teachers and experiences that I had while attending.
During the course of my career I have done a lot of adult teaching. Parents, aspiring teachers and others interested in working with young children have all been my target audience at one time or another. These experiences were so uplifting that I have been encouraged to continue working with parents.
Watching young children grow during preschool is a wonderful experience. Each child is unique. They bring something individual to the world. It is a joy to be able to share this with parents at La Playa. That is the beauty of working at a Cooperative School. Teachers and parents witness children’s growth together. I am delighted to be a part of La Playa Cooperative Preschool.
I’m Mayra Ybarra and I am the assistant teacher at La Playa. I have had the pleasure of working at La Playa for 2 years. I am a graduate from California State University of Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development specializing in early childhood.
I have always known I wanted to work at a play based school and La Playa has just been the best fit. I am fortunate to work in an environment where I can teach and also learn with the children and their families. There is no better place to play, learn, and explore than La Playa Cooperative.