This month's choice for a Spotlight was a no-brainer. Carol Louis has been with OSNS for 22 years and this month she is retiring. We couldn't let Carol leave without learning more about this incredible woman!
What is your Job Title? Early Childhood Educator (ECE) or Preschool Teacher
What do you do at OSNS? I do a variety of jobs to create a learning environment for preschool children. Children learn through play, so I play with them and bridge play between children so they learn to play both with each other and independently. I cook with them, do arts and crafts, sing songs, read stories, play out door and so much more! By doing this, the kids develop skills in fine motor, gross motor, social, math, music, self-help, language etc. I feel fortunate. I love my job and enjoy playing with our future leaders.
What is your favourite part of the job? I am happy for the children when they develop friendships and new skills. I see confidence growing in the children when they make up games and have conversation and build connections with each other. I love seeing children learn, string words together, or sign words or recognize body emotions and take a deep breath to calm down or use their words when they want a toy instead of grabbing. Children want to be noticed and they want to learn by doing things themselves. I get to support those children.
What surprised you about working at OSNS? I am surprised by how valuable the garden program turned out to be. By growing up on a farm, I took for granted that people knew where their food and plants come from. I enjoyed seeing the excitement of the children when they planted seeds and a plant grew, or they saw roots under a plant or a bulb under a flower. It is so rewarding letting children pick and eat vegetables from the garden.
Share a funny story from when you were a child: When I was a child we lived on a farm and orchard. We had a variety of animals, fruit trees and ground crops. One night the chickens were making a lot of noise so at two in the morning my dad went to check on them. It was very dark and the noise was coming from the nests. One nest had a SKUNK eating the eggs! Dad thought it was a chicken so he picked sit out of the nest, got sprayed but didn't realize it! After the incident, he came inside and closed all the windows. The smell was so bad, the tears came out of our eyes! Needless to say, it was a sleepless night :)
Who is your favourite Disney character? Mickey Mouse. I thought he was magical. He reminded me of Disneyland.
What do you do to get pumped up? I like to go on the elliptical machine in the morning before work. I feel energized after my exercise.
What is your favourite animal? I like baby animals. They are so cute! I also love watching monkeys play.
What is your favourite food? I like Chinese food as long as it isn't too spicy.
What do you enjoy about the Okanagan? The Okanagan is my home. I have lived here all my life and I enjoy having my family nearby. I also enjoy the weather, the lakes, orchards, vineyards, markets, outdoors, ski hills and the people.
Where would you go on a dream vacation? Hawaii to see the cultural centre, volcanoes, corals, vegetation and beaches.
What is your favourite quote? I often say, "I see tummy muscles" to the children when I see them using their core when learning how to swing.