Pre-K Teacher at Merritt Academy in Fairfax, VA
Nominated by: Greta D.
“Marissa Lollie takes her job as a teacher and educator seriously. Marissa creates positive experiences for the children in her classroom and ensures that her classroom and activities are ready each day. Any project that Marissa is given’s she goes above and beyond to ensure that the children are receiving the highest quality education. She takes the most difficult children and makes sure that she provides them with a positive environment that promotes their growth in social and emotional health. She connects personally with each of the children and gives each child individual attention daily.
Her classroom is always neat and organized and inviting to parents and children. Parents are always requesting that their child be placed in her classroom. Marissa serves as a role model to other teachers in the program.”
“I think Pre-K parents should relax and enjoy their children. Preschoolers don’t need homework or flash card drills, they need meaningful interactions and plenty of time to play and explore.”
Q&A with Marissa Lollie
Why do you think teachers are important?
I think teachers are important because we have the power to help shape a child’s perception about learning, not just in the classroom, but for the rest of their lives.
What is the single best piece of advice you can give parents of preschoolers?
I think Pre-K parents should relax and enjoy their children. Preschoolers don’t need homework or flash card drills, they need meaningful interactions and plenty of time to play and explore.
What makes you excited to go into your school each day?
I’m always excited to come to work to see my kids. They usually have stories about things that happened to them since the last time we met, or things they’re excited about. I enjoy getting that glimpse into their lives.
What are three things you use in your classroom everyday and could never live without?
Music, an open mind and caffeine.
What advice would you give to aspiring teachers?
First, be organized — you have to be. Second, enjoy the kids. If you don’t, it’s pointless to be there.
Do you have any tried and trusted ideas or activities for motivating students?
Young children are motivated by fun, so I try to make every day fun and interesting. What is considered “fun” or “interesting” is based on the interests of the children, so it changes often.
How can parents and teachers work together to empower and engage children?
When parents and teachers communicate with each other, and when parents get involved in the school, I think it shows the child that education is important. A parent is a child’s first role model. If they respect education, their child will too.