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Mrs. Cindy Panczel, Kindergarten

At the age of 15, I began working in my cousin’s preschool and fell in love with being a teacher. Long hours of observing children in the California State University Northridge (CSUN) preschool laboratory helped me to understand children and the learning process. As an educator, I have strived to be innovative and dynamic. I also seem to have some natural abilities in working with children. I can be very intuitive, empathetic, fun and kind. Not only have I instilled in my students the values of being lifelong learners, but I have strived to be a lifelong learner myself. As early as my third year of teaching I became a mentor teacher, guiding others. I am an advocate for education and committed to my role as a teacher.

I am a home grown teacher as I moved to Simi Valley as a child. I graduated from Simi Valley High School. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from CSUN, and then my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University. I worked my first five years teaching in the Bay Area. I continued my educational goals by getting a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Montessori methods, and recently received my Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, and an Administrative Credential from California Lutheran University. My husband and I returned to Simi Valley at the birth of our first child, as both our parents still lived on the street we grew up on. Yes, I married the boy next door. Currently, I have 25 years of teaching experience in the Simi Valley Unified School District and live in the Katherine Community. All through my career I have continued to train and take classes to better my practice as a teacher. I was sponsored by the SVUSD for the "Take the Lead" program (Empowering and Equipping Teachers to Lead), hosted by the Ventura County Office of Education. I am in the Next Generation Science Rollout and support our California State Standards. I have even attended anti-bully training by the Simi Valley Police Department.

I have devoted my life to being a teacher that guides and educates children in a kind and nurturing manner, promoting their social emotional growth, as well as their academic growth. Everything you really need to know you learned in kindergarten:
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Hands are for helping.
4. Put things back where you found them.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Eat healthy.
10. Live a balanced life - learn some, draw some, paint some, sing, dance, play and work everyday some.
11. Take a nap every afternoon.
12. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
13. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

I believe firmly in the respect of all individuals. I have taught my classes to be kind and helpful. We are all unique individuals and need to be treated with dignity and respect. I use a Second Steps character education program that uses real life stories to help children handle their emotions, as well as identify emotions in others. It also has a component of conflict resolutions and character building. Diversity enhances any educational program. Using the uniqueness of each individual student adds well roundedness and exposure to the ever changing world around us. I take great pride in valuing each student’s knowledge and experiences by allowing them to share it. I bring in multicultural literature and expose them to a variety of thoughts. I promote a climate of respect and responsibility in my classroom. I use teaching methods that promote different learning styles and fosters peer relationships and collaboration among my students.
I feel blessed to be a part of the Katherine Community and fortunate enough to have had my four children attend here as well. Students benefit from positive Parent-Teacher relationships and my door is always open. “It takes a village to raise a child”