2017 Blackboard Award Honoree: Stephanie DeJoy

Stephanie DeJoy; photo by Andrew Schwartz

Editor’s note: To read profiles of all 2017 Blackboard Awards honorees, click HERE!

Stephanie DeJoy
Lolly’s Early Learning Center

Tell us about some of the special joys and challenges you’ve experienced as a teacher.

There is no greater feeling than teaching a child to do something they have never done before and seeing the sense of pride and accomplishment on their face. I am so lucky to experience that every day and am grateful for all the children I have had the pleasure of teaching over the years.

Please share a special project or achievement that you are particularly proud of from this year.

In many cases, my pre-Kindergarten class is a child’s first experience away from home. This year I had a boy who was having a hard time with this transition. He would cry every morning and did not want to play with the other children or participate in any group activities. It broke my heart. By taking the time to get to know this boy and learn his interests and strengths, I was able to provide him with comfort while still giving him the push he needed to become stronger and more independent. It is special to see the transformation from a child who cried being dropped off at school to a child who runs into my class excited to see their friends and eager to learn what we have in store for the day.

Over the course of your career, what do you consider your greatest accomplishments?

My greatest accomplishments are the strong relationships and positive classroom environment I have built. I am so fortunate to have spent the majority of my teaching career in such an amazing school. Lolly’s Learning Center is a place where all the teachers, children, and parents feel respected, encouraged and loved.

What keeps you motivated and committed to being a dedicated
and hard-working educator?

My students are my driving force. They grow and change so much over the course of a year. How they are treated, educated, and taught to feel about themselves really shapes what kind of people they will grow to be. I love the challenge of seeking out new methods of teaching to ensure I reach each child in a significant way. Being the best teacher I can be is my constant motivation.