My name is Ericka and I started my journey at Spirit at Play by volunteering back during high school. I began working as a part time assistant after graduating from Hellgate High School in 2012. While not at work, I love spending time with my loved ones. I believe that life today has become very fast paced and can easily pull us away from the most fulfilling parts of our lives that matter more than our to do lists. I try my best to avoid that busyness of life and make as many memories as I can with my friends and family. Many of the people that are near and dear to my heart come from the Bitterroot Valley. I love spending my time there whether it’s having barbeques, visiting breweries, walking the trail at the Lee Metcalf Refuge, four-wheeling, raising livestock, or simply going for drives down the back roads.
I love building new skills and have tried my hand at many different positions here including: part-time assistant, cleaning crew, substitute teacher, assisting the director, and full-time lead assistant. I finally found my true niche at Spirit at Play three years ago when I became the full-time lead assistant with Kira in the Meadowlark classroom. We work hard together to help each other provide the best possible curriculum, environment and relationships with our children and families.
A big part of making that happen lies in the philosophy of intentional teaching. It is important to maximize every possible learning opportunity children have; we do that by carefully and thoughtfully planning our environment and curriculum so that we as teachers can take advantage of the many teachable moments that occur in every day’s interactions through play and exploration.
The core of my teaching philosophy is one of unconditional love and acceptance of all people and things. Not only can you become a better teacher, you can become your best self by simply knowing that every child that walks in our door has something special to share with us. Modeling is one of the best ways to teach new skills and my hope is that in modeling unconditional love and acceptance, we can teach our next generations to truly love and appreciate our world and its people.