Playing "teacher" with Miraidis

NAME
Miraidis Munoz-Velez

POSITION
Preschool Teacher

START DATE AT HORIZONS
2013

Describe a day in the life of your role at Horizons.
There are three teachers in a classroom and we rotate shifts for closing and opening times. My favorite is when I’m there for the opening shift because I get to greet everyone (staff, teachers, families). In the morning I get my breakfast and speak with staff members before I start the day in the classroom. It’s great to walk into work because it feels like a family environment. Once I’m in the classroom, the day is very structured. We follow a schedule each day, which creates stability for everyone. During nap time we (teachers) get to work out other things like preparing lesson plans, trainings, cleaning the classroom, etc. The last part of the day I try to keep everything running smoothly by creating engaging activities. I leave my class at the end of the day exhausted and excited to do it all again the next day!

What do you like the most about working at Horizons?
I feel that the work I do is very meaningful. I can see the impact in the children and families very clearly. The way Horizons cares about the children can be hard to find elsewhere. It makes a huge impact when families are supported, so Horizons doing it makes me very happy. I don’t limit myself to the children, I try to support the family and Horizons will always back me on that.

“We always go the extra mile. It’s not only about educating the children, it’s helping families with resources too.”

I get close with the families and stay close even after they leave because they have a special place in my heart.

What’s a goal you hope to accomplish while at Horizons?
A personal goal for me is to keep a welcoming environment full of trust. I want the children and families to feel it and I that we’ve been doing a good job of it and want to continue that. In addition, when new staff joins, it’s my priority to make them feel welcome and confident. Happy staff equals happy work and children!

What’s something you’ve learned at Horizons that has affected you the most?
The development of social and emotional skills. I thought I knew mostly everything I needed to know about them, but working here has shown me a range within children I had not seen before. Working here as changed my view on how I understand behaviors, especially with trauma-informed care.

Favorite/most powerful moment at Horizons?
I love the powerful bond that comes out of doing home visits for the children. It makes an extremely big difference with the children and the teachers. The newly-formed relationship opens a new perspective for both the child and teacher and is quickly reflected in the classroom.

Why do you think people should support Horizons?
Supporting Horizons means helping a homeless child. Children are going through a very difficult time in their lives when they get here and Horizons helps children overcome developmental delays that could impact them for the rest of their lives.

What’s your favorite childhood memory?
I loved going outdoors and being out on the water with my family. When I was really little I played pretend “teacher”. My mom was a teacher and she brought me a school chair with chalk and school books. I used to teach my dolls and toys with the school materials and that helped me become what I am today.

 

Horizons for Homeless Children’s passionate employees embody the Horizons’ mission every day in a vast array of ways. The Horizons’ staff is uniquely specialized in several areas to serve to the needs of young homeless children and their families. To join our team, check out our career opportunities!

by Molly Murphy
Published on May 10, 2018 
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