Meet the Teacher!

Name  ............................................................................................................................... Cécile 
Age ............................................................................................................................. [Classified]
Hair ................................................................................................... Unnatural couleur du jour
Nationality ................................................................................................. French & American
Occupation ........................................................ Owner and teacher at Ami-Ami since 2005
Subsidiary occupations ............................................................................................ Mother, portrait artist, chauffeur, cook, nurse, mechanic, gardener, musician, electrician, accountant, proud nerd, IT person, interior designer, eternal student, toolbelt diva, major tree-hugger, travel agent, bargain-hunter.

Background

I have lived in the US for 20 years and in San Diego since 2002. I was born and raised in Angouleme, a medium-sized medieval town in southwestern France (Bordeaux/Cognac area). I am the second of five girls.

 

I graduated high school at 16 magna cum laude with a major in sciences and a minor in languages (French, English, Spanish, Latin, Greek). I spent the next year as an exchange student in Colorado, then studied humanities in Paris for 2 years in a select prep school setting, and went on to complete two Bachelor’s degrees in 1998 (English, Teaching French as a Foreign Language.) I subsequently spent two years in graduate school at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where I did coursework and research in French literature, language acquisition and multiculturalism in education, acquired ECE units, and taught French 200 at the University.

 

I have been running Ami-Ami preschool with passion and dedication for a decade. Though licensed for up to 8 children, I have made the decision to limit enrollment to 5 children per day, to preserve the home-like feel of our setup and stand apart from the anonymity of commercial daycare centers and large-scale language schools with less natural and less frequent one-on-one nurturing interactions.  Quality over quantity.
 

"Everyday" Cécile

Radiator replacement
Radiator replacement

Always making water kefir
Always making water kefir

The apple to my tree...
The apple to my tree...

My younger son in the middle of a Pollock.

Radiator replacement
Radiator replacement

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The DIY Buff  

 

I am addicted to working with my hands.  I cannot be happy without a project or some kind of artistic endeavor.  I find manual labor to be extremely therapeutic; having a creative outlet gives me a sense of balance and boosts my self-confidence.

Because I have learned not only to enjoy learning, but to seek it, I approach life's challenges as a chance to better myself.  This type of hardy personality and resourceful mindset is something I find extremely important to pass on to young children.  Every hurdle, rather than feared, should be welcomed as an opportunity to learn.  A creative mind is a daring mind.

The Mom
 
 

I have two amazing sons who are going on 16 and 14.  They are both wonderful children who together were among the recipients of the first national “Charlotte Bacon Acts of Kindness Award” in 2013.

As a mother I believe that my job is not to tell my children who they are or who they should become, but to simply bring them to adulthood in one piece and with the solid foundation of character and creativity that will allow them to make the best and most resourceful choices toward their own definition of happiness.

The Kindness activist

 

I believe in embracing differences and treating everyone fairly and kindly, without judgement or assumptions, and that examining one's own biases and prejudices should be a lifelong mission of self-improvement and love.

In my work with children, this translates into a gender neutral approach and into the purposeful examination and celebration of diversity in abilities, appearance, family structures, spirituality, cultural expressions and more.   

I am also very passionate about the environment and concerned about the dysfunctional stewardship of our only planet.  I think it is important to instill in children a sense of wonder about Nature, to teach them to value plant and animal life, and lead by example in all "green" ways possible.

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The Goofy Nerd

 

In essence, I made sure to grow into a responsible, resourceful adult who meets her obligations with pride and all challenges head-on... for the specific purpose of having a secure, stable environment in which to let my inner child completely loose.

 

And I do so with gusto.  I love board games, Legos, costume parties, weird hair colors, I car dance with much enthusiasm, and my fashion sense outside work hours is rather unique.

 

I am serious about what requires seriousness, but only as a means to allow silliness in all other aspects of my life.  Loving yourself means accepting  your own quirks and differences, and embracing them enthusiastically whenever appropriate.

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