Para-professional

Mariah Roberson

This month will mark three years since I started working at Rainbows. I was hired to work in the toddlers’ room, as an Opener. When I started, I was apprehensive. I wasn’t used to working with children that young and wasn’t sure if it would be a good fit. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d stay at Rainbows very long. It took me less than one month to fall in love with the job. While being an Opener required me to get up between 4:30-5:00 a.m., I always looked forward to going into work and getting to play with the children. I was recently moved to be a Closer in the infants’ room, and I got to fall in love with being in that room! I look forward to going into work every day, and getting to play, hold and watch the kiddos grow and learn.

Last year, I decided to go back to school after taking a two-year break. I’ve decided to become a teacher, and Wichita State University has an amazing Early Childhood and Elementary Education programs for students working as para-educators. I am able to do all my classes online and use my hours as a para-educator at Rainbows towards my student teaching. It’s because of Rainbows that I am in the program!

Not only does this month mark my three-year Rainbows’ anniversary, it’s also the holiday season! It’s so much fun to get to listen to Christmas music with the kids and play with instruments. I also enjoy getting to see the decorations each classroom sets up, and each of the crafts the kids have done throughout the day.

Working with children has its challenges. It can be frustrating to tell a child one hundred times in an hour to use nice touches, and to keep their feet on the floor. It can also be hard to comfort a crying baby when you aren’t sure what’s wrong. However, that’s why it’s so nice to have several people in each room. If I’m reaching a point where I’m worn out from the situation, I can ask one of my co-workers to help, and get a break from that particular situation. At the end of the day, I love my job and I’m grateful to get to spend my days working at Rainbows!