“I love to spend time with kids and talk to them.
That is the only reason I am in this profession.”
After a career in banking and insurance, Vandana Gupta has returned to her original love—teaching children—and is working at a Silicon Valley neighborhood day care center.
“I started with volunteering at an elementary school near my home in Boston,” she says. Vandana eventually worked there as a teaching assistant and was inspired to pursue Early Childhood Education training.
Vandana, who has bachelor’s degrees in Education and in Management and Commerce and a master’s degree in Business from universities in India, has 12 units in the Extension ECE program so far. Currently she works as an associate teacher in a class of 28 four-year-olds in a day care center in Santa Clara. During winter, she creates art lessons around snowmen, snowflakes, and penguins. When the next quarter begins, she will care for toddlers.
“I love to spend time with kids and talk to them. That is the only reason I am in this profession.”
ECE instructor Melissa Le, who serves as chair of the Extension certificate program, has served as a mentor to many of her students. Curriculum emphasizes choice and creativity, encouraging students like Vandana to rethink how she teaches.
“She’s really inspired me to do a lot of things I was not doing earlier with the kids,” Vandana says. “It helps you think differently about your role. It definitely helped me a lot with teaching art and creativity. If they want to color a heart blue, we let them do it.”