Excellence Academy Master Teacher Spotlight


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2013-11-22 21.33.04

Mavie Leon Diaz

Center Name: Chestnut Street YMCA
Classroom Age Group: Two and Three Year Olds
Years of Teaching Experience: Over 10 years
Years in the Excellence Academy:     2 years
Highest Education Level Achieved: some college courses
Special Certification: CDA


What is one of your favorite things about teaching young children?
I love interacting with the children. We have fun throughout the day playing and learning together. It’s exciting to see the children’s faces light up when they learn something new!
How has the Excellence Academy changed you, your classroom environment, your knowledge of early childhood development and your teaching practices and strategies?
In my participation with the Excellence Academy, I have become more confident in my daily activities. The tools and knowledge of Early Childhood Education are available to me as I become a better and stronger teacher. I have gained skills in technology, newsletter writing, and public speaking! With these skills, I have grown professionally and personally. I am able to introduce new techniques to my class and parents as well.My children and their families are more involved in our classroom. Our classroom environment is warm and inviting. We use Creative Curriculum studies to learn and create an exciting place to explore. I truly understand the importance of giving children my time and respect. I am able to accurately observe the kids and incorporate my observations into individual and group plans to further their development.
Tell us about your family.
My family is very small. I have two children, Rafael who is 13 and Rachel just turned six years old. I have been married to my lovely husband for 16 years. My mom and grandmother live in Cuba and my older brother has lived in Spain for over 20 years. I lost my father in 1995 due to a heart attack. Even when we are far away, we keep in touch; we are still a very close and loving family.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I don’t think I have one, but my grandfather would always tell me, “When you grow up, be a decorator!” I love switching stuff around and am always looking for the best way to arrange things.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
My favorite way to spend a weekend is to be at my hometown (Cuba) with my mom, kids, husband, and the rest of my family enjoying my grandma’s food.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
The one thing I could never give up would be my children and family.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a teacher who made a positive difference in her class and was able to leave a footprint on my students.


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