Paths to QUALITY Coach Rachel George has been working hard on her own education, but she also plays a big role in developing child care providers and helping them provide the best learning environments for their little ones. Read more about what makes Rachel who she is and how she developed into the person she is today.
Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff. Or, click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.
What three traits define you?
Protective, loyal and curious
What is your personal philosophy?
I believe the purposes of early childhood education are to spark an energy and love for learning in young children, and prepare them for their transition into elementary school with the tools to become successful.
I believe the curriculum for young children should involve intentional teaching, thoughtfully designed learning environments and play based/child initiated routines. I believe you need to meet children where they are (developmentally), as individuals and as a group, through observations. Then, plan activities that are challenging but achievable.
I believe early childhood teachers must display the qualities of flexibility, passion, creativity, patience and dedication.
I believe the learning environment for young children should safe, secure, and stimulating where each child can grow physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Environments should consist of developmentally appropriate materials and learning centers for the children to explore.
I believe young children learn best when they feel safe, comfortable and supported in their environment.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
Wow – there are so many things that I need daily; this is hard to choose just one. I would say that I tend to lean on my faith quite often. I go to sleep praying, and I wake up thanking God for another day.
What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?
Currently, I am taking courses to achieve my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood focus, I would say that has been the biggest challenge for me this far. Trying to balance work, life, being a wife, a stepmother, an aunt, etc. It is very hard to complete assignments in a timely manner, post discussion boards and respond to the recommended amount, study, read the course material, etc., all while my husband is a coach and we have very different schedules. July 20, 2019 I will graduate and THAT date cannot come soon enough!
What is the one thing you cannot resist?
I cannot resist fountain Cokes. I have been doing better, but most days I have to stop at a gas station and get a good one. McDonald’s does not cut it as they barely put any ice in it. I have to make my own. 🙂
What is your greatest fear?
Being in an airplane. I am fine if it is just for a couple of hours – anything longer than that. my anxiety kicks in and I get hot and sweaty and antsy. I think it is because I am confined and have nowhere to go and no control as to when I can get off. We leave for Montana in July – we have to fly to LA and then back to Montana. I am already a nervous wreck for that over-five-hour trip.
Where is your favorite place to be?
At the track. I am basically obsessed with the Indy 500, as I was raised around the track. Both of my parents were born and raised in Speedway. Both of my grandpas worked at the track, and my father did too. I was always there. The month of May, I spend ample time at the track. It is a huge part of my upbringing and my life today. My dad and I go to the race every year together. It is “our” day. I have not missed a race with him since 1992. My father hasn’t missed a race since 1963. I am very blessed to have this opportunity with my daddy, we have a ball together that day.
What is your favorite thing to do?
Spend time with my family. I love when we are all together. I love watching my nieces grow and learn. Holidays are so much fun with my family – we have good times with each other. We are very close-knit, and I am thankful for that.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?
This is a tossup between two places. When I was 18, I went to Cancun, Mexico, and it was beautiful. The white sandy beaches and clear waters were amazing. A bunch of my friends went for our “senior” trip, and we had such a fantastic time. Three years ago my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Malibu, California. That place was awesome – very calm, great food, and beautiful scenery. It felt like that town “made” you relax. There wasn’t much to do but lay on the beach and eat. We had this beautiful house overlooking the Pacific ocean, and the master bedroom had French doors. At night we opened the doors up so we could sleep to the sound of the large waves coming in.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
My parents made me work at a young age. I had my first job at 14 as a Kroger bagger. I wouldn’t say that was the “weirdest” though – that would be when I was meat slicer at Blimpie Subs. I worked there when I was 15-18 and worked my way up. Eventually, my younger sister started working there and took my job as I went to college. I also worked at the “new” Kroger in my hometown when I would come home from college breaks as a cake decorator. I LOVED that job. I remember I made my sisters graduation cake. I also made the display cakes for the bakery. That was when edible photographs were popular, and I put a picture of me and my sister on a cake.
Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?
I would take that robot housekeepers; that would probably be most helpful to me in this point in my life. Plus, I’d feel kind of like the Jetsons, and I loved that show when I was a kid.
What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I think that I would be in the cake decorating business. I love to decorate cakes, and I learned so much when I worked at Kroger. I learned how to make those roses and flowers. I learned how to make all kinds of outlines, and I was really good at writing on cakes. I had the “steady” hand 🙂
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
I would tell myself to not be afraid and go for whatever I wanted to do. I was very quiet and naive and seemed to back away from large crowds and confrontation. I would tell myself to be more outspoken and spontaneous. Time flies by, and I feel like in my older years I am coming out of my shell more and more because life is so short.
What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?
Bless your heart, Understandable” and either “I agree” or “I know, right”.
What is the best book you have ever read?
I am not a reader. I struggled with reading comprehension when I was younger. It was like pulling teeth for my parents to get me to read. I learn better visually and hands-on, and by hearing it too. But, I read Where the Red Fern Grows when I was younger for a class assignment, and I have to say that was such a precious book. For someone who struggled with comprehending, that kept my attention. Now, I can read article after article on my phone or computer that are five to 10 minutes reads…but I cannot stand books.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I always told my parents when I was growing up that one day I would buy one of those houses by the track so that dad and I could walk to our seats for the race. Guess what? I did that! I bought my first house six months after graduating from college, and I had two roommates that paid me rent to help out with the mortgage. After about three years, they both moved out and I was left with the mortgage. I worked two jobs for many years to make ends meet because I was not going to give my house up. I lived there for 13 years, until meeting my (now) husband and moving in with him. Every year, dad and I walked to our seats for the race and I was right in the middle of all of the hoopla in Speedway for the month of May….EXACTLY where I wanted to be.
Ask Rachel additional questions in the comments below!