Growing up the daughter of a teacher, I have been exposed to schools from an educator’s perspective my whole life. I remember helping my mom set-up and playing in her classroom when I was younger. As I grew older, I began interacting and working with her students. While I had not really considered teaching as a profession, one day while pursuing a degree in Sociology, it occurred to me how much I truly enjoyed and connected with students. This realization inspired me to enroll in early childhood courses. The rest, as they say, is history. Upon graduation I moved to Texas, started teaching kindergarten, and completed a Master’s in Education at Houston Baptist University.
Over the course of 20 years, I taught from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade students. I also had the opportunity to serve in various roles ranging from teacher to specialist, to mentor, to trainer and worked with children who struggled academically as well as gifted and talented students. During these years I was inspired countless times by students, co-workers, and families I had the privilege to work with over the years.
While I thoroughly enjoyed my time working in schools, my motivation changed when I started a family. As a parent, you want to give your child the best of everything. As my children neared school-age, I began to feel pulled, especially as it related to their education. When looking for early childhood programs for my girls, I came across ones that either used worksheets as their main teaching modality, or others that, although they may have looked “cute”, lacked any real substance upon further inspection. Drawing from my educational knowledge and career experiences, (coupled with my own desires as a parent), I knew I wanted a program that encompassed and taught to the WHOLE child; addressing the academic as well as social-emotional needs of children that age. From this desire, The Learning Garden school was created. Over the next nine years I cultivated and curated a curriculum founded on research-based principles that used developmentally appropriate activities to prepare students not only for the academic rigors of school, but also the social and emotional demands. The Learning Garden was a tremendously fulfilling and rewarding experience as I got to witness first-hand the impact I could have on setting a student up for educational success.
As previously noted, The Learning Garden was rewarding in so many ways. Our little school became a community and I got to share meaningful relationships with my students and their families. As the years transpired and my curriculum became more refined, I realized that I could broaden my impact on students by addressing a new population: teachers. I feel my experiences as a teacher as well as designing and running a school affords me a unique perspective and understanding of the challenges from both a teaching and administrative point of view. I know first-hand how the demands of paperwork and state requirements can take time away from your ability to find new and enriching activities to support your curriculum. I also understand the stressors of maintaining a well-trained staff who are motivated and inspired to teach. My workshops are designed to address the needs of both. At TLG4Teachers we strive to provide high quality, hands-on training that will not only be feasible to implement in your classrooms, but will also be meaningful for your students. It is my hope that TLG4Teachers will become a community where like-minded educators come together, share resources, become inspired, all while having fun connecting with others.
I look forward to connecting with you soon!
TECPDS Master Trainer # 32960
Continuing Professional Education Provider for the State of Texas - CPE # 902638
"To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is to provide my utmost support for Ms. Andrea Miller as a licensed preschool provider as well as a teacher educator. As someone who previously worked for the Texas State Center for Early Childhood Development, part of my job duties entailed travelling to preschool and childcare programs across the state and nation and rating them using an extensive, thirty- page scale which evaluated everything from environment, language and responsiveness, to the amount and effectiveness of learning activities. Being trained to have such a discriminating eye, I was apprehensive when my evaluations became personal when time arrived for my eldest child to attend preschool; however, I have been nothing short of impressed with the program Ms. Miller has established at The Learning Garden. The breadth and scope of the curriculum she has designed emphasizes the development of the whole child; addressing social-emotional behaviors, academic readiness, and critical thinking skills. I have no doubts that my children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning have been bolstered by attending Ms. Miller’s school. As a current Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, I see the importance and difference that a high quality preschool education can make when students transition to grade school in terms of preparedness and confidence on a daily basis. This preparedness can have long-term implications for a child’s experiences and successes in learning. The fact that Ms. Miller has extended her services to training teachers could not make me happier. I feel our academic institutions would be vastly improved if more teachers were trained to have the same comprehensive approach to education as Ms. Miller.
Licensed Specialist in School Psychology"