Joy Brey Lead Teacher for the 4-year-old classroom at Building Blocks Learning Center. I have been working in the Early Childhood field for 30+ years! I am proud and honored to have been in this field for my whole working career and plan to keep on going for a long time. My first jobs were babysitting jobs and I have always enjoyed working with children. I knew when I was in high school that this was going to be my future career as I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I find it so fulfilling to be a part of children’s early education journey. The children in my classroom become like my own and I want the best for them and will do whatever I can to help them become successful. It is so wonderful to get to be a small part in the lives of the many children who have been in my classroom. Each one of them hold a special place in my heart and I hope that they have fond memories of their time in my class. In my role, one of the most important things I focus on is having a classroom that is welcoming, inviting, and fun for the children. I strive for our classroom environment to feel like home, a place where they can be themselves, make good friends, and know that they are cared about every day. I hope they come in excited to learn and see what new things I have put out for them to discover. Another thing I find important is open communication with the parents. My families know they can come to me at any time with any questions/concerns they may have. We have always had an open-door policy where parents are free to stop in and see what we are doing. Times have changed some with Covid-19, but we have adapted. We now have a private Facebook page set up to post pictures of what we are doing in the classroom so parents can see what we are learning about and the fun are we having. As Early Childhood educators, we wear many different hats throughout the day, ranging from teacher, actress, musician, nurse, problem solver, and friend. It is our role to help shape their future and give them the best start possible through fun, learning, and love. I feel like most people just see our job as playing all day and while it may seem like that, in that play a lot of serious learning is taking place. It is my hope that one day we will truly be seen as educational professionals and not just as those who take care or watch children. That people outside our field will understand what we do; how important those first years are for children; and how a really good early start helps build their futures.