Gloria Witters is our beloved 3's and 4's teacher and Yon LeMieux is our amazing toddlers and 2's teacher. To learn more about them, please read their bios below:
Hi! My name is Gloria Witters "Teacher Gloria" and I've been teaching here at Burien Co-op Preschool since 1991—from a cavernous church basement to the wonderful school we have today. There is a magic to this place. Every day when I open the door, everything else in the world just seems to melt away. I can almost hear the laughter from the hundreds of children who have passed through here.
I adopted a philosophy long before starting here at Burien and have never wavered for a moment, embracing it fully and passionately. It is difficult to sum up a philosophy in a short paragraph—there is so much to say about how children learn and grow—so to give you an idea of this passion that has filled me for so many years, I will make the following statements about what I believe children need:
- Learning should be fun—never stressful or constricting.
- The child is the curriculum. Children should be free to explore activities that interest them.
- Children should be heard, listened to and validated.
- Children need time. Children need space.
- Children need "too much".
- Children need repetition—practice, practice, practice—until they become masters!
- Children need to take risks in order to grow.
- Children need to tinker.
- We are not preparing children for anything. We are here, now, today.
- Children need to have real experiences, relevant to the child's interests.
- Children cannot be ready before they are ready. All children develop in their own time.
- Trust children. Have faith in the process.
- Childhood is not a competition.
- Creativity is just as important as literacy to the growing child.
- Every child deserves respect and deserves to be loved.
- All children need a sense of belonging.
Hi! My name is Yon Lemieux "Teacher Yon" and I've been with Burien Co-op since 2003. I started here as a co-op parent and fell in love with the school immediately. By the time my two kids had graduated from the program, I had already decided this was the place I wanted to stay and teach.
I received my degree in Early Childhood Education from Green River Community College in 1997. Since then, I have taught in a variety of settings, including Montessori, Head Start and In-Home childcare. Families I have served have run the gamut from transitional homeless to the affluent. In every circumstance, I have learned more from listening to and watching children than I ever dreamed. In all of those settings, no group of children has held my interest and heart more than toddlers. They are industrious, hilarious, tenacious geniuses and I feel very lucky to spend my days getting to know them.
I am drawn to the natural world and try to incorporate as many real world natural items in the classroom as possible. We currently have a tortoise, a guinea pig and a soon to be thriving compost worm community in residence.
I try to approach each day with love and humor. My children are the most important people in the world to me. I know that yours are to you and I try to never forget that. It is my hope that each child in the classroom feels that they belong there and is able to thrive surrounded by a respectful, nurturing environment.
I humbly look forward to meeting you and your family.