Staff Spotlight - Cathy
In 2021, we will using our Staff Spotlights to learn more about individual staff, their inspirations, and their incredible resilience in adapting to Outdoor Learning in a pandemic.
Spotlight on Cathy Bodo
This month the spotlight is on Cathy Bodo, Playchool's secretary and substitute coordinator. Cathy is an alumni parent and a former Playschool teacher. Get to know more about her in this month's Q&A:
How did you discover Playschool?
I heard about Playschool from several different sources. When we first moved to the area our landlord's child went here. I also went to the Sale, which was huge. The first one I went to took up several offices in the Great Valley Corporate Center.
You are an alumni parent. Why did you choose Playschool for your kid(s)?
The main reason I chose Playschool was so I could be in a classroom and see if I liked working with children. I was not an uber parent like the generation of parents today. My son went to daycare and even had a horrible babysitter. I figured it was nursery school!
My nephew was born when I was nine, so there have always been young people in my life. I always babysat! We made no money babysitting in the 80s. Literally, they would count out quarters! And I would go to their houses never having met them or their children, just word of mouth referral.
But I really enjoyed children and the thought of being in a room full of kids was very enticing! So, Playschool it was. I quickly got on the sub list, they liked me enough, and I was at school all the time!
My daughter Annaleigh came in 1998. She fell deeply in love with Miss Cindy who she had again the following year. Annaleigh drew purple cat whiskers on her face every day at Playschool for a year and a half! Yes, she has tattoos! Lenci came in 2005, while I was teaching.
Looking back on your time as a Playschool parent, what is one piece of advice you could give to current parents?
I love to give advice! Just one? Be on time, so you can afford to be late. Some of my most joyous experiences with my children were when we were able to be spontaneous. I often brought my kids to school late. We might make play dough, watch a slug cross the sidewalk, or write a poem. Now they call it being present.
One is too hard. The second piece is, let your guard down! We are all here together.
You were also a teacher at Playschool in the past. What was the most rewarding aspect of that experience?
Relationships! I really like people. I enjoy getting to know them. What makes this person interesting? Each class was so different and so the same. There is always a hitter, an artist, a tattletale, an athlete, and the smart ones. Kids who need extra help and others who give help! And my favorite was what I called my back pocket kid. I would turn around and they are there, needing to be close to me. We would all get to know each other and often love each other.
I also liked getting to know all the parents. The things parents have taught me have been wonderful. And, of course, the camaraderie with coworkers!
Can you tell us about your current role at Playschool? You wear many hats! Can you share about what you do?
I try and help Laura — she is a dynamo! I schedule parents in classrooms, help with tuition, invoicing, and paperwork. I help in the classrooms if we are shorthanded. I help where I can when I can.
What was it that drew you back into the Playschool community?
History, a sense of home, the freedom to be an individual, the trust we grant each other to try our own way, and the liberty to fail. Playschool is a place for human growth on so many levels!
What is your favorite part of your job?
I cannot emphasize enough what a gift, and how much joy it gives me to greet the children and their parents, babysitters, grandparents, and guardians each day!!!!
Everyone has a special gift to give the world. What is yours?
I would like to think it is love, but it might just be offering support and acceptance to our common struggle for peace.
What's your favorite fall activity?
Football!! I often don't even pay attention, and I don't know all the positions and calls very well. But I love that it is a reason for my family to gather. It reminds me of my Dad and it's a good excuse to slow down.