(Mini-update) Spring 2011 – Teresa Gould is 28, Taj Behar is 4, Sofia Heredon is 4, Alexa Wright is 5, and A.J Heredon is 4.

In Teresa’s opinion the best way to start every morning is to do the Smustle with a bunch of over excited 4 and 5 year olds. It doesn’t matter to her that some people question using the town’s resources on what they consider a giant playpen instead of simply sending the children to public school, she knows the best ways to get the little ones interested in learning while still having fun.

She makes sure to pay attention to her two newest students, Sofia and Taj, who were looking around in bewilderment. They’ve only been with her for a few short months and Teresa wants to make sure she draws them out of their shells.

“Follow me kids, it’s really easy.” She slows down and exaggerates her dance moves, smiling when they hesitantly follow along. “Don’t be scared, we’re only having fun.”

“That’s right! Just dance and be happy.” She laughs along with the children, making sure to keep an eye on their wild movements so that no one got hurt.

A.J turns to her suddenly, his face serious before morphing into a wide grin. “Miss Teresa this is my favorite.”

Teresa laughs again and ruffles his vibrant red hair. “It’s one of my favorites too A.J and it looks like we’ve danced our way to snack time.”

She leaves the children in the main room and walks into the kitchen area, humming along to the silly pop song that had them all moving.  A few minutes later she ushers them all into the kitchen for fruit and yogurt, the perfect snack to energize their minds for learning.

Sofia surprises Teresa when she decides to sit at the table with her during snack time; usually the quiet little girl prefers to sit next to Alexa, the two of them whispering together. Teresa smiles at her, silently encouraging Sofia to ask the questions she sees she wants to ask.

She worries about her. She knows that siblings can be vastly different from each other but this amount of timidity she didn’t expect. Chance had been demanding of her attention while Sofia seems to want to avoid it at all cost.  She really needs to talk to Mr. Heredon about getting Sofia comfortable with interacting with people especially before she starts kindergarten.

“Ms. Teresa, are we going to be learning math?” Sofia asks softly, using her fork to play with a piece of fruit.

“Sofia we’ve already done math, remember? We went over counting yesterday and a little bit of addition.” She tries to hide her confusion, keeping a smile on her face.

Sofia shakes her head, picking up a blueberry and popping it into her mouth. “No, I mean real math with the letters. I see it on Daddy’s papers.”

Teresa chuckles, “No honey, that’s advanced math and you learn it when you’re older. For now, we’re going to work on  adding numbers up.”

A sudden cough draws Teresa’s attention to the group talking behind her and she sees Taj literally stuffing his face, his cheeks bulging from the amount of food in it. She sighs and shakes her head.

“Taj please slow down. You don’t have to rush, the fruit isn’t going to walk away from you.” She says it gently, knowing from previous experience that the little boy clammed up the moment he felt scolded.

There was another parent she needed to talk to if she could ever get in contact with the man. Teresa had seen Mr. Behar when he’d signed Taj up for school but that had been the first and last time;  since then the little boy had been taken home by a dizzying array of women wearing tiny shorts and tube tops.

The day passes quickly for Teresa and the children after snack time. She helps them practice reading their picture books, making sure to praise Alexa for her carefully pronounced words and spending extra time with Taj who was far behind his classmates.

After going over their reading, Teresa carefully weaves a story about a clown meeting a penguin for the group using a set of hand puppets. She loves helping children build their imagination and laughs at the silly little stories each of them come up with. Her favorite story is A.J’s who manages to weaves a grand story about a penguin with super powers that travels to the moon and by the way Taj, Alexa and Sofia giggle until they’re breathless they agree with her.

The end of the day comes quickly after a flurrying array of art, writing, a bit of math practice and Teresa is relieved to send the children home and sit down for a moment. She begins to work on the progress notes for each of the children, making sure to sandwich critiques in between praise because most parents read the notes out loud.

She looks briefly at the calendar on her laptop noting how quickly the summer is approaching. It makes her sad to know that soon this group of children will be leaving her, that she wouldn’t get the chance to lead them further along in their education but it also made Teresa excited for the fall when a new group of kids will be playing in her school. She smiles to herself, life is good.

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A.N: This was a fun update and I had a really hard time deciding what I wanted to include in this update and what I wanted to leave out. I knew that I wanted to show off the Cove’s little pre-school and do something with the children who I feel get ignored at times in their family updates because they are just so young. I mainly wanted to get the kids together and let them foster some friendships even though the group is going to split between private and public school.

Teresa is a non- playable playable that became playable for fun. She lives in Cedar Court next to the Valdez family and you just might see her around from time to time. Her traits are romantic, humble and creative as an FYI.

I thought it was nice to add a little something about each kid although I think I skimped on little Alexa. I say she get a voice like her mother and talk louder.

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