September 11, 2019
My Doodle Story: Turning an Interest into a Career
Contributed by Bridget Wolff, Learning and Development Specialist
It was my senior year of college, and like every other senior I was pondering exactly what it was that I was going to do after graduation. I remember constantly reminding myself that I had two more semesters to decide, though always having a little bit of fear in the back of my mind.
Fast forward a few weeks into my spring semester in early 2015, sitting in an early childhood education class. The professor asked if anyone had worked in the early childhood field and someone shared their experience at Doodle Bugs!, a local child care center.
“I’ve never heard of Doodle Bugs,” I remember thinking to myself as I began to Google it. I had been looking for a part time job, and always enjoyed working with children. After scrolling through the website, I sent in my application that evening.
By the end of the week I had an interview set up at our Orchard Park location and… I got the job! I would be working as a part-time Teacher Assistant while I finished up my last semester of college. I remember walking into the building for the first time and being blown away. Not only was the facility amazing, but everyone that worked there was so welcoming, kind, and taught me more than I could have ever imagined.
As my senior year came to an end, I struggled with commiting to a career path. After meeting all of the children, teachers, and families at Doodle Bugs!, I couldn’t imagine walking away to chase another job that I wasn’t even sure I wanted. It was almost like fate when a full-time Teacher Assistant position opened up that summer. I put in my letter of intent and became the full time Teacher Assistant for the 2015-2016 school year.
It was that year when I began to truly understand the importance of early childhood educators. Not only did I realize the time, effort, and heart that it takes to be a teacher, but I learned the extreme reward that comes with it. I developed meaningful relationships with a number of children and families, and each day felt so loved and appreciated. There was no better feeling than walking into my classroom and being greeted by ten smiling faces running to the door to give me a hug.
In January of 2016, I began my journey as a Lead Toddler Teacher. Anyone that has worked with toddlers, or has a toddler of their own, knows that working with two year olds is not an easy job. But what I will say is: the hugs, belly laughs, and moments of pure learning made coming to work each day so exciting and worth every second.
Working in a Doodle Bugs! classroom also taught me so much about myself. I learned how to express my creativity, how to be a leader, how to bring joy and positivity to those around me, and I found out that I have more patience than I ever knew existed. I was constantly inspired and motivated to do better- for both the children and for myself.
As much as I loved being in the classroom with all of the children, I had discovered a passion for helping others learn and have similar experiences and opportunities that I did in my 4 years in a classroom.
This past June, I applied to join the Doodle Bugs! Education Team as the Learning and Development Specialist. Now, I’m sitting here writing this article from my brand new desk. I’ll let you fill in the blanks.
As cliché as it sounds, working at Doodle Bugs! has changed my life. What started off as a part-time job to make some extra money, turned into a passion and a career. Over my (almost) 5 years of working here, I have taught the most amazing children, formed bonds with incredible families, and worked alongside inspiring teachers who are making such a big difference in their classrooms each and every day.
I am so grateful to be living out the quote “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”