Meet Katie! Staff Development Coordinator
Meet our wonderful Staff Development Coordinator, Katie Herdan! Katie first began her time at Casa as an Administrative Assistant at our Maple Grove location. Her passion for early education and love for Casa led her to the Center Director position at Edina for three years. Working through these different roles gave Katie an in-depth view of Casa Operations and the needs of the Centers. Today, she loves being back in a teaching role! Get to know Katie in this week’s interview!
Why are Corazoncitos courses important and how do they help our teachers?
Corazoncitos are staff development classes to share the latest early childhood teaching methods and help teachers work towards their CDA (Child Development Associate Credential).
Corazoncitos classes give our teachers a chance to expand their knowledge of early childhood education. They learn about including child development, developmentally appropriate practices for the classroom, health & safety, diversity & inclusion, and more! These classes are taught by accredited trainers from our HQ & Admin Teams. We also have guest instructors! Some of which are our own teachers. They share with us the expertise that they have learned in their careers before coming to Casa. Our Casa teachers come from various backgrounds and it is helpful to share their experiences for everyone’s benefit. We are able to focus on any particular need at any given time and promote our best practices across all centers.
What do you look for when choosing to start a new special event/activity at Casa? What goes into consideration?
I look for events and activities that really celebrate Casa’s Core Values, especially interculturality, healthy & holistic impact, and extended family. We strive to give our children a holistic and rich education that includes diversity and love. And whenever we can incorporate sharing this with the whole family, it’s extra special!
You are also on the Casa App team, what does this app offer that others do not?
The Casa App offers a glimpse into your child’s day at Casa through the Casa lens. You can experience the same vocabulary that we use at Casa to talk about the curriculum and activities. We have also added features like access to the same intercultural music we use in the classroom, a more detailed food report, a customized waitlist experience, and more. Teachers also have direct access to their curriculum materials in the app as well as other teacher resources and additional training. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to help shape this technology to fit the Casa experience!
How do you support a new staff member who might be struggling a bit with training?
I love that I get to meet with each new staff member after their first 30 days of employment. It’s such a joy to get to know them and hear how their initial experience at Casa has been. It’s at that point that I have the opportunity to coach them and provide them with resources for their areas of need. They’ve had just enough time to get the feel for the routine and really recognize an area that they may need to work on. My goal is that everyone feels confident and successful in their position and their place in the Casa Family.
What do you want new parents and teachers to know about Casa?
I have never worked anywhere that has so much love for its employees, children, and families as Casa does. I truly feel at home in my position, surrounded by children I consider mine and coworkers I consider my family!
What staff development resources will you provide staff in your own Casa franchise?