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Katie’s Story: Q&A with a Workforce Development Program Participant

By Katie Petersen, YWCA Workforce Development Program Participant
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June 20, 2022

YWCA Minneapolis’ Teacher Workforce Development Program is designed to help people earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, the best first step for Early Childhood Education teachers. In the blog below, participant Katie Petersen shares special highlights of her time in the program.

Opportunities to Grow and Develop Skills

I found out about the Early Childhood Teacher Development program in 2021 from my boss. She explained that it is a program where I could become teacher qualified in six months instead of the traditional college route where it typically takes you four years to graduate.

In 2021, I enrolled in the 29th YWCA Minneapolis Early Childhood Teacher Development program because I realized my love for working with children and wanted to further my career in this field. It was a great way for me to see if I wanted to go to college for an education. The biggest way this program has made a professional impact on me was that I felt like a learner.

“YWCA Minneapolis helped me understand how to better teach the young children I work with and how to better communicate with them. During class, I never felt like a burden if I had questions. My teachers and peers always helped me find an answer. We learned something new every day! I will always be honored to say that I received my CDA through YWCA Minneapolis.”

What are the biggest things you’ve learned during the program? 

I learned that children are communicating every single day, whether that’s laughing or babbling. As teachers, we need to remember that if the children make a noise they are trying to communicate with us.

How have your leadership skills grown?

After achieving my CDA, I feel more confident in my ability to help other teachers, aids and even parents with any questions they have.

Did the program change your perspective on diversity inclusion in a child care setting?

I learned how everyone not only sees things differently but also learns differently. Because of this, my biggest takeaway was to always be open to talking to others differently and to help them learn or understand through alternative teaching.

What hopes or plans do you have for the future?

One day, I would love to open a child care center of my own. A few of my coworkers and friends have all agreed with this as well. My current plan is to go to college and learn more about how to be a great teacher for the children I work with. It’s important for me to remember that I am doing the best I can do daily and that there is always something new to teach young children.

Learn More about YWCA’s Workforce Development Program