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Our Head Start teacher Lisa engages students’ minds and bodies in virtual class

Many families are still learning the ins and outs of home-based learning and Head Start teachers like Lisa Ricks are making the transition easier with lesson plans that include fun, creative group activities over Zoom.

When the pandemic forced Head Start and other schooling online, Lisa quickly adapted her curriculum to make sure her students would remain engaged.

She focuses daily on keeping children and parents actively involved in the lessons, something she sees as critical to successful childhood development. Lisa has given her students recordings of herself singing and reading books and gives them projects they can work on with their families.

“Obviously we’re bummed out about doing it online but doing this together has been exciting,” Lisa said.

Lisa earned a B.A. in child development from California State University Northridge, a Masters teacher permit, and she’s certified in creative curriculum.

She first experienced working with kids when she entered a kindergarten teaching assistant role in college.

“I knew then that’s where I belonged,” Lisa said. “This is what I love, this is my calling.”

As a teacher with Child Care Resource Center Head Start, Lisa has tailored her lesson plan to be very child-centered.

“In my classroom, the children are considered active learners,” Lisa said. “They have their own roles, solve their own problems, and drive their own learning experience. We learn together, not just me saying “here’s letter A.” I drive them to problem solve and identify things they want to learn.”

A typical day of learning with Lisa includes 30 minutes of small group activity, using Zoom to sing together as a class, reading time, and creative power point presentations. As a large group, Lisa’s students build their social and emotional foundation through different activities like talking and interacting through song, reading, and playing together once a week.

“I’ve made these deep connections with not only children but their families,” Lisa said. “Being able to make a very small impact each day keeps me here. I love everything about the kids, their smile, laughter, energy. Those “aha!” moments keep me here.”

Lisa enjoys exercising so she introduces the children enrolled in her class to movements that wake up their bodies and keep them active.

When she’s not teaching or working out, this San Fernando Valley native loves indulging in sushi but also said she can’t live without her Mexican food.

Lisa is excited to meet your child and help him or her flourish through Head Start.

CCRC Head Start and Early Head Start is now enrolling children ages 0-5. Click here to learn more.

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