by Stephanie Utrup
While my time here at Parents as Teachers has been brief and the end is drawing near, the skills and people I have met here will come with me as I travel to the east coast. I thought there was no better way to end my time here than to talk about what I have learned. Here are the top ten things I learned during my time at Parents as Teachers:
10. Always bring a sweater to work!
9. The Parents as Teachers curriculum provides parents with a broad range of information, from developmental milestones and neuroscience information to age appropriate activities; this is something that all parents can use and I will take all of this knowledge with me as I move on.
8. Parents as Teachers works hard to fight and secure funding for programs and to advocate for children. The effort and time poured into this is tremendous and really gives a different meaning to hard work.
7. Marketing, budgeting and resource development can actually be enjoyable, but only with the kindness and patience that the Parents as Teachers staff in these departments have.
6. Parents as Teachers is cutting edge, research-based and high-quality. Just check it out.
5. The Parents as Teachers approach is unique in that it includes four components: 1) Personal visits by certified parent educators 2) Parent group meetings about early childhood development and parenting 3) Developmental and health screenings for young children 4) Linkages and referrals to community networks and resources.
4. No matter how hard you work, things might not always work out the way you had hoped (as evidenced by the never ending hours that PAT staff poured into the prevention of budget cuts in MO and the massive budget cut that actually happened).
3. Mail merge is one of the most useful tools ever created!
2. The staff at Parents as Teachers is top notch, beyond helpful, extremely knowledgeable and always willing to help me and each other learn and grow. I could not have asked for a better learning experience than the one I have received over the past 7 months. I am moving forward with many more skills than I started with in January and much more than I ever anticipated learning.
1. All children deserve the opportunity to learn, grow and develop to their fullest potential. They are valuable and all deserve a fair chance; Parents as Teachers really helps to level the playing field.
To the staff at Parents as Teachers–Thank you all so much for your knowledge, time, and helpfulness. I look forward to taking all of the wisdom you have shared with me as I move forward and will truly miss you all!
Stephanie Utrup was a practicum student at Parents as Teachers. She recently received her master’s degree from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and is moving to Washington D.C. where she plans to start a career in child advocacy. Good luck, Stephanie!