Elysha: Leading New Teachers with Experience

By Primrose Schools

Elysha Hunter, director of Primrose School of Gainesville, has fond memories of starting
at the school in Georgia nearly 22 years ago as a Preschool teacher. She loved “getting
my hands dirty with the kids” with arts and crafts and science projects.

“I knew when I was enjoying myself, my kids were enjoying themselves too, and
learning through that,” she says.

Part of Elysha’s job now is to help train new teachers, who she says are glad to have
the structure found at Primrose schools. The Balanced Learning® curriculum at
Primrose lists songs to sing, materials to collect and lessons to teach. Leaders at each
school make sure that teachers have the resources they need to present each lesson.

With the chore of lesson planning removed, teachers can enjoy the freedom of exploring
with the children.

“It’s all there. It gives you something every step of the day,” Elysha says. “Teachers
don’t have to think, ‘What do I do now?’”

Elysha encourages new teachers to ask her any questions they have, even if they feel

“My main goal is to make sure teachers are comfortable and ready to be in the
classroom,” she says. “To make them feel at home here.”

Elysha has felt so at home at Primrose that she’s spent her entire career there, and sent
her son Brock, now 14, through the program.

After Preschool, she taught Pre-K before she was promoted to educational director. In
that role, she trained teachers to deliver the curriculum and made sure they had the
supplies, information and skills required. Because of her experience as a teacher, “I
knew what they needed,” she says.

She also tells new teachers that it can take time and patience to teach some lessons.
She tells them about how she was trying to teach one of her preschoolers to write his
name. They practiced over and over with crayons and paper, but it wasn’t clicking for
him. Then one day, the little boy wrote out his name perfectly.

“It’s a great memory,” Elysha says, because she and the little boy didn’t give up and
kept working on the goal together.

In her experience, the best teachers don’t just deliver a robust curriculum. They become
a dependable presence in their students’ daily lives.

“It’s the teacher who makes the classroom,” she says. “You have to have love for the
kids. We all have personal things going on, but you put that aside and give these
children the love they need.”

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