Interview with Teacher of the Year Award Winner: Katy Smith
*Part 1 of 2: A blog series on past Teacher of the Year Winners. Stay tuned as we talk to Jill Runde, 2017 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Award Winner this Friday, May 3rd.*
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life?
Since I’ve been around a while, there are a few “hardest things” from which I could choose, but definitely at the top is having a child.
I was a new sleep-deprived, lonely, (and even a little scared) mom, when I walked to the mailbox and found a brochure that said “Wanted: BABIES.”
While reading through the information, I realized they weren’t asking just for babies, they wanted parents, too! I was intrigued—and it was in that moment that I discovered a program called ECFE—Early Childhood Family Education. The program said it was a place where mess-making, play, and discovery were encouraged, a place to connect with other parents in the community, and a place to learn about parenting and to receive support.
Besides the ECFE program itself, I learned about the role of parent educators in the ECFE program. I grew to understand that the role of parent educators was to provide research on parenting, best practices and support to the parents of 0-5 year olds. One amazing parent educator I met along the way was Katy Smith. Katy won the Teacher of the Year award in 2011 and has created a following through her advocacy for children and families.