MUNSTER | Pam Domasica has been teaching preschoolers for 24 years and will complete her career at Westminster Preschool with a reception in her honor from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday. Former students, their parents and friends are invited to the celebration at the school, located at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 8955 Columbia Ave.
Have 4-year-olds changed since 1989?
“Oh my yes,” Domasica said. “They are so technology savvy now. They’ve had so much experience with videos and hand-held electronic games. Many of my students today have had lots of travel experience—much more than students in 1989.
"But 4- and 5-year-olds are still children, despite the sophistication of their experiences. They have a need for socialization—getting along with friends and with others who are different from them.
"They love to feel success as they learn to write their names, learn the alphabet, understand the calendar. When something doesn’t go well, they need to learn to pick themselves up and try again.”
Domasica helped develop Westminster’s curriculum when the State of Indiana changed the “cut-off” age for entry to kindergarten and again when full-day kindergarten was mandated.
Westminster developed an extended day program for children who are not quite ready to start kindergarten and those with summer birthdays. Westminster Preschool met with public school kindergarten teachers to learn what was expected of entering students.
Learning to listen, pay attention and follow instructions were seen as the most important elements of readiness, Domasica added.
The retiring teacher notes that her first students are now almost 30. She first became acquainted with the school by serving as a “mother helper” when her children were enrolled. Having been a seventh-grade teacher in Gary, “Westminster was expanding its program and Judy Elwood, who was then the director, asked me to apply to be a teacher.”
“Westminster Preschool has been a wonderful part of my life. I love to see a child say, ‘I understand.’ It makes him or her, and me, so proud,” Domasica said.
For further information, call Director Linda Moran at (219) 805-0906.