Barbara (Barbie) Overton is a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Easterseals Charter School in Daytona Beach. In her role, Barbie works to lay the foundation for creating a love of learning that will stay with her students throughout their lifetimes.
From day to day, her classroom activities focus on helping students build empathy and compassion, problem solve and enter kindergarten ready to learn. She focuses on designing activities in a creative learning environment that keep the youngsters’ interest, all the while teaching them how to be their best.
“Some of the outcomes I want to see in my students are being able to cooperate, share and care for others; being able to think for and express themselves confidently; and being able to appreciate diverse views,” explained Barbie, adding that being resilient in the face of adversity and having a lively curiosity about things are daily goals for her students, too.
Barbie enjoys many aspects of teaching, but one stands out.
“I love seeing the growth that my students make,” she said. “Not just the big growth made from the beginning to the end of the school year, but all of the smaller ones in-between. Kids have a lot of ‘aha’ moments and I love being a part of that.”
It’s no surprise that this enthusiastic teacher, like so many others, also values teaching children how to have fun and care for others, too.
“I enjoy seeing my students' faces light up and hearing their laughter when they are having fun doing the learning activities,” said Barbie. “And, I treasure it in my heart when I witness compassion and caring in my students for others, such as comforting someone who is sad or hurt, helping someone remember what to do, or working peacefully and happily together on a project.”
A common misconception about how preschoolers learn is that they are learning even when it looks like “just playing,” she said, adding that the more teachers a child has in their life the better they are and the further they will go. She encourages parents and caregivers to become a teacher for their children.
Added Barbie: “Make everyday moments teachable moments, especially ‘oopsies.’ We often learn best from our mistakes.”
If you have a love of teaching or an interest in helping children and adults with disabilities reach their fullest potential, you may have a place at Easterseals. All current job opportunities may not be available online, so contact HR Generalist Fran DeCinto at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. In the meantime, complete our application for employment opportunities, available here. Additionally, Easterseals has partnered with GettingHired.com, an online resource that connects people with disabilities to employers in search of qualified jobseekers with disabilities. Visit GettingHired.com to open your door to opportunity!
Easterseals of Northeast Central Florida serves the region with facilities in Daytona Beach, DeLand, Bunnell, and Leesburg. To learn more about Easterseals of Northeast Central Florida, please visit www.eastersealsnecfl.org.