Pursuing My Childcare Career Goal

FSDB post grad student Meliza Lorenzo helping children down a slide.

My name is Meliza Lorenzo, and I am a continuing education student at FSDB. I decided to come back last fall because I wanted to attend First Coast Technical College (FCTC) and major in early childcare. I want to accomplish one of my goals for the future. I love to be around young children, and I have the patience to care for them. When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a teacher when I grew up - just not a general teacher. I wanted to become a teacher for blind and visually impaired students. In the next paragraph, I will be talking about my experience in the childcare program at FCTC.

The first couple of months were somewhat rough because my classmates and I found out that we were going to get a new teacher. The teacher who was assigned initially knew what she was doing to get us prepared for the state early childcare exams. However, when she left, we had many substitutes until they found the right teacher. It was a stressful time, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue in the program, but I still wanted to work with children. No matter what challenges I faced, I knew I could do it. Our new teacher had worked in a daycare center for 22 years, so she had a lot of experience to share with us. She taught us how to take care of children and keep them safe. We learned about the Florida Division of Children and Families and what they expected us to know for the state exams, including the areas of rules and regulations; health, safety and nutrition; child abuse and neglect; child growth and development; and observation and screening.

Watch video of Meliza sharing her experiences in the FCTC Early Child Care Program.

This year I got the opportunity to work with children ages two to five at FCTC. Working with this age group can be a little challenging. One of my struggles was getting the chance to read with them since I am visually impaired. I had to borrow twin vision books from the FSDB Blind Library. These books are both braille and print and have lots of pictures. One time I got the opportunity to read a book that was in braille, and the children I worked with were excited. I was a little nervous when I brought the book over to them. Once I got into the story, I was relaxed, and they enjoyed it and were fascinated by the braille. Every day I looked forward to working with children, including outside and doing hands-on artwork activities. The children liked having me around.

Also, I worked with children in kindergarten to second grade in the Blind Department at FSDB. Working at FSDB was not quite as challenging because I experienced learning the same way they do. I taught braille to younger students who were beginners, and I helped them with their classwork. I like being a role model for them.

Meliza helping an FSDB blind elementary boy read braille.

I have also been helping out with my younger nieces and nephews at home. I also had the opportunity to take a paren