PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Eva Rodd is a teacher at Portland Arts and Technology High School, specifically in the school's Early Learning Center. The center is a free public preschool where her high school students get to teach three and four-year-olds a range of skills and subjects to prepare them for elementary school.
What is unique about this program is that it not only provides a free service for the young children in the community, it also gives the teenagers hands-on experience in the field they have interest in.
"I really wish I had an opportunity like that for myself when I was looking into what type of career I wanted to go into," Eva said.
The early development program also puts the students through a process in which they can test for a national certification that they can use for college credit, or to show proof of experience for them to go right into the work force with preschool programs.
Everything the high school students learn about teaching preschool, they learn from Eva, who has been teaching in early childhood development for 24 years. Eva said what drew her into this type of education was the opportunity to work with the age group she finds the most interesting. After five years at PATHS's Early Learning Center, she said her favorite part about her job is passing on a passion for teaching and inspiring to future generations of preschool teachers.
"It's a huge gift to be able to love coming to work every single day and be able to love what you're doing," Eva said. "I think there's always an opportunity to make a difference."