Cindy Banuelos is the Lead Teacher at Heritage University’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance (ECEAP) Program in Yakima.
“She’s amazing,” said colleague, Stacie Marez. “She provides one of the most positive social-emotional climates I have seen. She provides an interesting and engaging classroom.”
Banuelos was motivated to begin teaching after spending time volunteering in her mother’s classroom.
“My mother inspired me to teach,” said Banuelos. “I tried a little bit of everything in college . . . but I think my time volunteering led me to the teaching career I have today.”
Banuelos enjoys engaging with her students who are all five-years-old or under.
|Cindy teaching about space.|
“I recently walked into the room and noticed that the home living area was set up as a veterinarian's office complete with stuffed animals, a changing table as an examining table, doctor's tools and pictures of animal x-rays,” said Marez.
On a cultural level, Banuelos embeds Spanish, French and Sahaptin (Yakima tribal language) into her curriculum as well as provides activities that will spark active imaginations.
“Sometimes when I teach, I get to step out of the grown up world,” said Banuelos. “The kid world doesn’t have a lot of stress or worries. As a teacher, I enjoy it because I can see their imaginations grow and go on and on.”
Currently, Banuelos is teaching her 20 enrolled students about the solar system.
“We are learning about planets, outer-space, astronauts . . . we do hands-on activities like making yucky-looking food that tastes good. We have an alien café... It’s a lot of fun.”Thank you Cindy for using creativity in early education and for inspiring children to explore and use their imaginations!