I am Judy Haus, Program Director for Old Firehouse School in Walnut Creek. I have been teaching in preschools since 1995, working with children 3 months to six years old. I was a teacher at OFS Lafayette from 2001-2012 where I worked as the Developmental Kindergarten teacher for 4 years and had the immense pleasure of taking a group from the Infant Room through their graduation to kindergarten!
I was able to see first-hand, how the continuity of care model benefits the families, teachers, and most of all— the children. After having spent five years with one specific group, strong bonds were formed between both myself and the children, as well as between the children and the individual families in my group.
I grew up in Walnut Creek and graduated from UC Santa Cruz with B.A. degrees in Psychology and Fine Art. I intended to pursue a career in Child Psychology or Art Therapy, but quickly found my way into the preschool world -- and I never looked back. There is so much joy that comes from exploring the world with young children and my days are always exciting and different. I have continued my education with many early childhood classes. I have presented at CAEYC, spoken at local junior colleges, and presented at a Reggio Roundtable at OFS - Lafayette, Walnut Creek and Mill Valley.
Through the years, I frequently presented project work to my preschool families. Object permanence was explored in the toddler’s Peek-A-Boo Project where we peeked out of boxes, into mirrors at our friends and teachers. We drew parallels from this activity, showing the children that just like friends come back after they hide under a scarf or in a box, so too do loved-ones come back at the end of the day.
The Two’s “I Can Help” Project explored helping in three ways: I can help myself (autonomy), I can help others (altruism-helping a friend put their shoe on, find a toy, or feel better), and I can help the community (making daily muffin snacks for the school, giving toys, and food to those in need).
With The Problem Project, preschoolers were excited about solving problems instead of demoralized and frustrated by them. They loved the challenge of a new problem to solve, whether it was amending the fish tank water to get new fish, or helping a friend create a mouse costume— no problem was too big!
In my personal life, I enjoy hiking, gardening and of course, spending time with my family. My husband, Chris, teaches photography at Diablo Valley College. Our daughter, Prairie, and our son, River, are both OFS graduates!