Ms. Michelle is the Director at My First Place. She has a deep love for children and a passion for education. She obtained her Bachelor's in Elementary Education and a Specialization in Mathematics in 1993. Since then, she taught children of all ages in private, charter, and public schools. This experience has brought the best practices of her career to My First Place Preschool. Ms. Michelle cherishes the opportunity to foster early learning education here at MFP. She believes that preschool is a great way to begin building the foundation of a child’s future. She enjoys working closely with the teachers to provide a highly nurturing environment that enables the children to blossom and grow while developing a lifelong love of learning.
Ms. Vanessa is our Administrative Assistant. She has worked as a Summer Camp teacher for four years and loves children. She is of great help in the office and all around the school. Ms.Vanessa loves to greet our students every morning and take them to their classroom. She also enjoys spending time in the classrooms supporting the staff. Every day she is in and out of our seven classrooms. We love her smile and the love she extends to the children every day. Ms. Vanessa is currently taking her undergraduate classes at Miami Dade College and taking the Childcare courses required by DCF.
This is Ms. Jodi’s 24th year at My First Place. She is currently the Pre-K 4 Teacher and has been working with children for the last 28 years. Her dedication to the children is relevant everyday as she presents her lessons. Ms. Jodi knows that young children learn through their senses and experiences, so she engages in a variety of hands-on activities. She takes into account the interests and strengths of each individual student which is so important for toddlers learning to socialize and become life-long learners. Ms. Jodi is certified by the Florida Department of Education with her Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC) and the Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Certificate.
Ms. Arlin is our Pre-K 2 Teacher. She has been a preschool teacher since 2005, 15 years now. She has a passion for educating children and enjoys watching them grow and flourish. She is a very creative and loving teacher who teaches in a way that is developmentally appropriate while keeping it fun. Ms. Arlin makes her classroom a place where learning is evident every day! She focuses daily in the areas of social skills, the use of small and large motor skills and academics, engaging them in arts, songs, dance and body movements. Most of all, she is dedicated to bringing out the best in their students. Ms. Arlin is certified by the Florida Department of Education with her Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC) and the Child Development Associate (CDA).
Ms. Ailana is our Pre-K 3 Teacher. She has been a teacher since 2013, at the Elementary and Middle School level. She has her Bachelors in Portuguese Linguistics and her Masters in Educational Leadership and Technologies. She also has her CPR and First Aid certificates. Teaching Jiu Jitsu is also a well-loved passion of hers. Ms. Ailana loves children and her students love her. She has excellent classroom management skills and pedagogical strategies developmentally appropriate for our three year olds. Ms. Ailana's lesson plans focus on various learning strategies to reach all the students. Her dedication and love for teaching is seen daily!
ABOUT OUR TEACHERS
Our experienced teachers are nurturing and highly qualified to prepare your children for Kindergarten. Their goal is to expose the children to music and movement, literature, Science and Math; as well as to enhance their learning through hands-on experiences, exploration and dramatic play.
Our staff has taken the childcare training courses required by Miami-Dade County, as well as the First Aid and CPR course. Furthermore, all the teachers hold a Bachelor’s degree, Associate in Arts degree or an Early Childhood certificate.
All of them are required to undergo a background screening and fingerprinting process monitored by The Department of Children and Families and Childcare Licensing and Enforcement. They are also required to attend in-service classes throughout the school year as part of their continuing education.
Ms. Annie has been working with children since 2016 at St. Brendan's School. She graduated from St. Brendan's High School and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Child Development from Florida State University. She is currently working on her Masters degree in Family Counseling and has her CPR and First Aid Certificates. Ms. Annie loves working withchildren and stimulating their development by getting them engaged in the curriculum. She has a very friendly, outgoing personality and is devoted to child development. Her goal is to motivate children by ascertaining their inner strengths, abilities, and activities that inspire them!
Ms. Arelis has been a preschool Teacher for 15 years. She is working in our older 2's classroom. The children love her and she loves to spend time with them. She is a very caring and loving teacher, who is always looking out for the safety of the children. She is passionate about preschool education and literacy and she thinks she has the most fun job of anyone she knows. To her, the most amazing thing is to see or hear one of her students apply the skills that she has taught them and see the excitement on their face! Ms. Arelis has her FCCPC credential and the Director Credential. She is certified by the Department of Children and Families with the Child Care Professional Certificate.
Ms. Erika started working with children in 2005 and has been in the field ever since. She possesses three very important qualities…patience, flexibility and love. It is no wonder that all the Pre-K 2 children connected instantly with her. She believes in the importance of early literacy, so she reads to them daily and engages in questions and conversation about the book to help them become readers. Ms. Erika is certified by the Florida Department of Education with her Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC) and the VPK Certificate.
Ms. Benjany, better known as Ms. Benny, has 7 years of experience working in an early learning center. She is originally from Venezuela and decided to make early learning her life’s work the moment she started to work with children in 2013. Ms. Benny believes that knowledge is power and recognized that the earlier it begins, the better for the child’s future academic life. She is very creative and is devoted to enhancing the life of every toddler under her care. Ms. Benny obtained her Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. In addition, she has the Conscious Discipline Certificate and Professional Child Care Certificate.