Mary Tate says she couldn’t ask for a better job. As a Most Precious Blood (MPB) 3-year preschool and 4-year kindergarten teacher, Tate says she enjoys the children, their families and a staff who offer to help often.
As you walk into her classroom and notice the pint size tables and chairs, you can’t miss the bright yellow tennis balls attached to the bottom of each leg that allow the chairs to slide effortlessly around the room when needed. “That’s an idea I have used for years now. It gives the floors a break, and they’re quiet too,” explains Tate. Her classroom is designed with little ones in mind, posters and the daily calendar at little tot size levels.
“I love it all – music is a favorite of mine. We use movement and dance to learn songs and melodies,” says Tate.
While 4K attends school Monday through Friday, 3K has school from 8 a.m. – 11 two days a week. Each day the combined class studies religion, math – working with colors, shapes and numbers; reading – going through the alphabet, sounding out letter combinations and doing a fun activity with letters. Mrs. Scherer takes the 4K class on Tuesdays for a computer class. Other classes the 4K students enjoy each week are library, gym and music. Three year olds enjoy library and music. On Thursdays, the day starts out with Mass.
“We learn about and use the calendar daily, and the children love to bring their show and tell items to school,” says Tate with a relaxed smile.
Tate’s class used American flags for the Veteran’s Day program in the gym that every class in the school participated in. A color guard presented the flag and the students sang patriotic songs, even marching laps around the gymnasium as they held up their flags proudly.
Tate has been preparing the children for Thanksgiving, by reviewing vocabulary words and explaining what a pilgrim is, and how Native Americans helped them when the pilgrims first landed in America. She also told them about pumpkin pie and other foods that are traditional for American’s special day of thanks. Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, they had a feast. All the children and their families bring in items for a tot-sized meal. “The parents are great, and sign up to make finger food items,” says Tate. On the menu were turkey roll-ups, corn bread, carrots, celery, Jell-o Jigglers in festive shapes, grapes and apple juice.
The entire school will participate in a Christmas program Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to accommodate parents who work.
A peek into MPB preschool is scheduled for Dec. 2 and again Jan. 13 from 9:30 – 11 a.m., when 2, 3 and 4 years olds can attend an hour and a half program. The young children have a snack, play time, songs, dance and a story. The session is free of charge and families of all faiths, new families and returning families are welcome.
Tate grew up in Berlin, WI in a large family of nine children. She attended a Catholic School until the 8th grade and obtained her Early Childhood teaching degree at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Her first job was with Headstart in New London and then with St. Pius with Aces Xavier for nine years. For the past five years, she has been the facilitator at St. Patrick’s in Lebanon on Wednesdays and Sundays and taught 2nd grade for 10 years. As a facilitator, she is in charge of curriculum, registration and teacher meetings.