A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

ECEC Teacher Nurtures Young Bobcats

January 17, 2013

Jennifer Renteria learned about an opening at UC Merced's Early Childhood Education Center. After researching the position, she said she felt her dedication to early childhood education and skills would be a great fit for the program's goals. She lives in the Turlock area and commutes to campus every day. 

What made you want to become a teacher?

From as far back as I can remember I have always wanted to work with young children. After finding out how important early childhood education is, that's when I really decided to take on this career.

Please explain what your job entails.

First and foremost our job is to nurture, keeping children safe through a learning environment that helps prepare them for their upcoming educational years. Throughout the time we're educating young children, it is important to understand their individual development and personal needs as they learn and grow.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is when parents show us how appreciative they are, and express their thankfulness for the hard work and dedication we have for their children every day. The hugs we get daily from the children are an added bonus!

What are some of the biggest challenges in your work and how do you overcome them?

The hardest part of my job is to continue my professional growth hours throughout the year, as  required in order to hold my credential. This is difficult because I am a mother of two young children that require my attention as well. Educating young children is a challenge as a teacher because we have to meet the individual needs of each child in the classroom, which is hard. You can have young children with older children, and you have to meet all their needs at the same time.

Tell us something about yourself that most people on campus wouldn’t know.

Most people may not know that I love to go camping on Pismo Beach and ride quads, and spend time with my family. I am a Sunday school teacher for the same age group as I teach here at UC Merced, and my husband also plays the drums in our community church.