By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Joey Schneider, the February Teacher of the Month sponsored by Allan Samuels CDJR, who teaches at Head Start in USD 308, notes that it's the love for the kids that has propelled a career that gets more rewarding as it continues.
"I've been working with children for over eight years," Schneider said. "I started out as an in home daycare. Then, after my son was older, we went to working for a school as a para for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and then we moved back to Hutch and I decided that I wanted to continue that. So, then I started as a kindergarten para, did that for several years and then went to Head Start as a teacher's assistant and then did that while I was working on my bachelor's and then I became the teacher."
The youngest students in 308 are a passion of Schneider's.
"This preschool age group, kindergarten age group, they're my favorite," Schneider said. "I know it's a lot more work, but they just love you more and they are resilient."
The growth at that level is exciting to Schneider.
"Being able to see that light in their eyes," Schneider said. "When they first started, they are frustrated. They can't seem to master a certain task, but then you can see them making that progress and then, when they finally master it, the glow that they have, it's just priceless."
Schneider is heartened by the fact that every day is brand new with those kids and they have to be approached that way.