Cal State San Bernardino

Head Teacher at CSUSB's Infant/Toddler Lab School Wins National Award

Teresa Olin, a Head Teacher at CSBS' Infant-Toddler Lab School (ITLS) recently won a Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's TYLENOL National Child Care Teacher Award. The award aims to raise the profile of child care teachers and recognized those who are passionate about quality child care.

Nationally, only 50 teachers are selected for their commitment and dedication to the children they serve. As a part of the application process, Teresa was asked to design a project that would benefit the educational, social, and emotional wellbeing of ITLS students. In her project proposal, Teresa articulated that students need and want therapeutic water play. Teresa proposed purchasing a larger water table that has pumps so students can pump their own water and have pipes and funnels so they could create their own waterways. Since ITLS is also in the midst of remodeling their playground to include a mud pit, the new water table would be a good addition.

Teresa, who hails from Apple Valley, California, transferred from Victorville Valley Community College to CSUSB and received her bachelor's in child development in 2011. Teresa is currently pursuing her master's in Child Development at CSUSB. And, had it not been for taking a Child Development course to satisfy a Liberal Arts credit, Teresa would have been a math major! Lucky for ITLS, she chose working with kids instead.

When asked what she found most rewarding about her job as Head Teacher. She said: "Working with the children. I know that's kind of cliche but they're so interesting and so fun-and kind of misunderstood. Because people always talk about the 'terrible twos' but I really think they're the 'terrific twos' because [children are] so curious about everything at that age and it's so fun to see them when that spark just hits them and you know that they got it...I think that's the most interesting and rewarding."

This is what makes Teresa amazing-she's a tireless advocate for children and sees such potential in the smallest among us. You can tell she loves her job: "I do. I really do, she says. I'm really fortunate to love my job."

An award ceremony will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 15-16, 2015 at the Please Touch Museum-a museum dedicated to serving children seven years and under. The event will celebrate the best and the most dedicated child care teachers.