Ana Costa, Wendy Mateo, and Jazmine Vargas form a powerful group, carrying out an incredibly important mission at our Drew Hamilton Early Learning Center: to help our youngest children learn, grow, and lead during the most critical period of their cognitive development.
In this family of teachers, each member contributes something special to create a transformative early learning experience for the kids.
Ana Costa has earned a reputation as the fun teacher, bringing as much energy to the classroom as an entire group of three- and four-year-olds. Her ideas are creative, her music is catchy, and her play is joyful—and most of all, the kids are captivated by everything she does and learn so much in the process. She’s also enjoyed a little bit of fame at Drew for her special talent: being able to invent songs on the spot.
“I guess it just really excites me to see children learn through having fun and really being engaged and not even knowing that they're learning,” Ana says.
Jazmine Vargas is a New York City native with a passion for investing in her community. “I've always wanted to work with children who are impacted from poverty, domestic violence, or homelessness, and try to be the difference that they need,” says Jazmine. “I'm extremely vigilant, so I individualize a lot. I'm always watching, seeing where certain kids are, and what they need help in.”
Teacher’s Aide Wendy Mateo is known as the firm one. With 15 years of experience, she understands the structure and sturdy foundation needed to set children on the right path early on.
“In order for Ana or Jazmine to do her job, I have to support. I have to listen to what they need,” says Wendy.
And while each team member brings unique and important qualities to the teaching group, they all share several common goals. They all value communication, and work collaboratively as one unit to help children succeed and thrive. They constantly check in and align strategies to ensure they are truly operating as one team. They also rotate responsibilities, so that each team member is learning and getting exposed to all aspects of running a top-notch early childhood classroom.
“I’m the aide, and Ana and Jazmine treat me very much evenly,” Wendy says of their collaborative approach.
The saying goes that teamwork makes the dream work. At Children’s Aid, we rely on talented teams of teachers like Ana, Wendy, and Jazmine to empower our children to pursue their dreams. And it works.