Before Sandra Marvin took a job at Primrose 17 years ago, she had experienced a
string of lackluster job interviews.
Already a veteran of the child care industry, she knew what she was looking for: a
school that exuded warmth and caring, for both children and staff. The schools she was
interviewing with struck her as cold; she felt like they just wanted to fill a job, not find the
Then she discovered Primrose School of Gainesville in 2006 and hasn’t left since. “The
environment was very welcoming and very comfortable. I wasn’t just a body who walked
in the door.”
Sandra started teaching in the Infant and Preschool classrooms before she joined the
school’s administration. Now, as operations director, maintaining a welcoming
atmosphere is part of her job. So is managing parents’ accounts, payroll, scheduling,
budget, enrollment and tours.
But nothing she does is as important as hiring, making sure she finds dedicated,
dependable teachers for children at her school, and that those teachers have a positive
and fulfilling experience at Primrose.
What does she look for in a teacher? First and foremost, she puts herself in the position
of the parents. “I ask if I could picture my child spending the day with that person, and
trusting that person,” she says. Sandra’s children, ages 17, 10 and 6, all attended
Primrose; the youngest still comes for the after school program.
“Ideally, this is the teacher’s passion,” she says. “They’re here because they care and
want to be a good role model for children.”
The best candidates are kind, nurturing and responsible, says Sandra, who does phone
and in-person interviews and calls references. She loves to see early childhood
education on a resume, but it isn’t required. Even teenage babysitting experience can
be a strong foundation for the classroom, she says. Comfort with children and common
sense go a long way.
“You’ve got to love kids. You’ve got to have that love inside, where they bring you joy
and make you smile,” she says.
And what’s in it for the teachers?
First, there are the practical benefits: reliable weekday hours, flexible schedules,
provided lesson plans and supplies, and a chance to be in the same building as your
own children. They also “get to be part of something important,” the defining early years
of children, Sandra says.
But for Sandra, who earned a child development associate (CDA) credential and
worked at four different child care facilities before making a career at Primrose, it’s all
about the people.
“The people who work here are like an extended family for me,” she says. “I felt like I
became more than an employee. I look forward to going to work. People send me texts
for my birthday. It feels more like a family and less like a job.”
If you’re looking for a workplace with a true sense of community, view our open opportunities to find the right position for you.