May 14, 2019
My Doodle Story: Journey from Toddler Teacher to Center Director
There are so many people that make this Doodleverse go ’round. While every Doodle hero’s story is a little different, each of them are woven together by a common mission to build a community full of happy children, happy parents and happy teachers.
Contributed by: Angela Frost, Doodle Bugs! Clarence Center Director
October 8, 2013: Day 1 as Miss Angela
“Classroom 4 here I come” I post to Facebook as I wait in my car with first-day-jitters. I take a deep breath and exhale a mix of excitement and nervousness. With a classroom full of toddlers waiting…off I go! My first day as a Lead Teacher.
With substitute teaching under my belt, I’m confident I can tackle the unknown and have resiliency to quickly adapt when needed. Wanting to give the children the world, I entered the building hoping I was the one to give them what they needed.
In the days to follow, I spent time training, observing, learning, and developing. I was humbled to learn from others that had been employed longer and who knew my children better…in a classroom that was theoretically “mine.”
October 2013-February 2015: Growth in a Toddler Classroom
Over many months, I encountered countless triumphs and tragedies. Fiercely independent little personalities filled my heart with love and frustration; with patience and exasperation. Stories that have now become infamous anecdotes in my world, unfolded in what seemed like a nanosecond.
As my toddlers tested limits and used trial and error to attempt to figure out the world around them…I too was growing and learning.
As my Doodle story was unfolding, an opportunity presented itself –Director Assistant at our Cheektowaga, NY location. In my tireless approach to strive for growth and with a strong desire to continue progressing, I gathered documents that illustrated my aptitude.
Filled with anticipation, I was invited to interview for the Director Assistant position. Leaving my classroom of toddlers on interview day, I made my usual rounds, hugging each one and finding myself nervous again.
January 14–February 13, 2015: The End of an Era
The interview seemed to go well, days past and then, in a voicemail (that I still frequently listen to) I received the news…I have been selected for the position.
With a unique mix of sadness and exhilaration…I spent the next month preparing my classroom and bidding farewell to the center that I called home.
February 13, 2015 – March 18, 2016: My Doodle World Expands Beyond Four Classroom Walls
Like a kaleidoscope of memories, my time as a Director Assistant was a whirlwind of dance parties, new technology, celebrations, and learning. I was shocked to discover that in only a few short weeks, I developed a new center family. In my new role, I had the opportunity to interact with everyone in the center and found it so fulfilling to expand my Doodle days beyond the four walls of a classroom.
It was during my time as Director Assistant that I discovered another passion – introducing Doodle Bugs! to prospective families through center tours. Getting to showcase the important work of early childhood and highlighting the uniqueness of the company that I had fallen in love with…touring was a task that was tailor-made for me! I met so many wonderful parents and was thrilled to be able to make their expectations a reality. I helped to put their worries aside by introducing them to a place their child could have a home away from home. The year went by in a flash…and to my surprise another chapter in my Doodle journey awaited.
March 21, 2016-present: My Most Challenging & Gratifying Chapter
Becoming a Center Director at our Clarence, NY location has, by far, been the most challenging and gratifying experience thus far. With 14 classrooms, nearly 200 students, almost 400 parents, and 40 employees…embodying the role of Center Director is a BIG job!
Adjusting to my new center took a bit longer this time around—there were SO many children, parents, and staff to get to know. In time, new relationships were created, obstacles were overcome, lessons were learned, and GROWTH took place. The peaks and valleys that I have encountered over the past three years have gone beyond my wildest dreams. Being a key player in something that is so important and so much bigger than me is what keeps pushing me forward each day. Managing the experiences that are shaping a child’s future is beyond words and humbling, to say the least.
Each role has become another rung on the ladder of my Doodle career. The journey has shaped me into the person I am today and I am forever grateful for the opportunities I have been afforded.
Every Doodle Hero has a Story– this is just the start of mine!