Stephenie Cook

Lead Teacher
Penn Children’s Center

How long have you been at the Penn Children’s Center?
“I’ve been here over five years.”

What are some of your job responsibilities?
“I’m the lead teacher of a preschool classroom so I work with children ages 3 to 5 years old. I supervise the room and make sure the children stay happy and safe. I’m also in charge of writing lesson plans and creating newsletters for the parents, working interface with the parents, being one-on-one with them to inform them about their child’s stay and how they are progressing.”

It sounds like the Children’s Center is more of a school than simply a daycare.
“Yes. Each grade level is in charge of doing a lesson plan, but for preschool, we’re centered on the social and emotional development of children particularly, and getting them ready for kindergarten. There are a lot of things that go into our lesson plan that center on the school readiness aspect.”

What is the favorite part of your job?
“Working with the children is the best part. You get to be silly every day and they don’t judge you for that because they’re silly.” She also says helping the children with their social and emotional development is of great importance to her personally, such as how to be a good friend, use nice words, and work well with others.

“Those are the type of things that you need in any adult business or relationship, and they’re learning it at 3, 4, and 5,” she says.

How’s naptime? Children do not seem to be fans.
“You can tell when the children are ready to go to kindergarten; those are our older 4 and 5 year olds. They’re done with naptime or have shorter naps. For those children, we have quiet-time activities: books, games, puzzles. But generally it’s an OK time.”

—G.J.