Hi there. My name is Brenda Limaldi.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.
It was always a part of who I am.
The Love Was Always There
When I was 6 years old, I would ask my teachers for any materials they were throwing away so I could take them home and play school in the summer with my dolls. I would even convince the neighborhood kids to play. I’d give them homework and check it, and add smiley faces at the top.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. It was always a part of who I am.
When I started college, I knew I wanted to teach music and young children. At that time, early childhood education was still a young field, so I didn’t have many options to explore. I chose the Music K-5 route. Although I loved teaching the “bigs” for 25 years, deep down, my heart always belonged to the “littles”.
Last year, I took a leap of faith and changed school districts. I am now a full time preschool music teacher, my dream job. This move allowed me the opportunity to focus on early learners, and to implement developmentally appropriate strategies geared specifically for them. I now get to sing, dance, and be silly with 3 and 4 year olds all day. However, an added bonus is that I also have the privilege to lead teacher training for the special area teachers in our district (music, art, physical education teachers).
As Oprah would say “This was my AHA moment.” I got to enjoy the littles and pass along what I know about music and children to more teachers. I discovered that I absolutely love helping teachers. I get to share lesson plans, ideas and music with more teachers so they can pass along what I’ve learned.
My heart gushes when I receive emails thanking me for my lesson plans, asking me for advice on classroom management, and telling me how much my tips help. And now, I’m passing those lessons on to even more teachers through a brand new online course called The Music and Mindfulness Connection- A Musical Approach to Self Regulation in the Early Childhood Classroom. I love being able to share these ideas on an even bigger scale. So many teachers, so many classrooms, so many children and all that music … passed on for generations to enjoy.
As a graduate student at Georgian Court University, I totally geek out when it comes to research and learning about child development.
Can I be super excited and share that I recently got an A on a research paper entitled The Benefits of Music Training for Early Childhood Teachers? I was so proud. And while I was studying for that paper, I learned about a study on an arts-integrated preschool in Ohio. The students in that program showed higher academic success than preschoolers from other schools. Get this, it wasn’t just in music. They scored higher in the areas of math, language arts, science, and social studies by the time these preschoolers reached 4th grade. And another arts-integrated preschool in Philadelphia showed a decrease in stress and anxiety. Amazing isn’t it?! The influence music has on our little ones is clear and it’s powerful. My mom, who is the biggest source of my inspiration, was a teacher in Colombia. She was so proud of me for following in her footsteps. When she passed away 8 years ago, I promised her I would keep her legacy of helping children alive.
The best way I know how to do that is by helping their teachers.
Happy teachers = happy children. I can tell you’re a dedicated teacher, just like me and my mom. Otherwise, why else would you be looking for resources and strategies during after school hours? I bet you’re an amazing teacher!