As Lead Teacher, Nikki Szlamnik brings a wealth of knowledge and true passion for education to Creative Play Preschool.
As a Colorado native, I grew up surrounded by the diversity and beauty of nature in the Rocky Mountains. In my childhood I learned first-hand how invaluable it is to understand and experience our connection to the world around us. Continuing on to Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, I was able to continue my passion for wildlife on a whole new spectrum, trading in wolf spiders and black bears for fire ants and the all, important alligator! As a teacher, I am passionate about encouraging in children this same wonderment of the natural world and our connection to those that live around us. It is my firm belief that a child who understands his or her connection to the world develops greater concern for their impact on other living beings, and that these children will go into the world with an open mind and a compassionate heart.
Throughout my life, I have had the fortune to work with many children of varying ages and abilities. I have enjoyed working at children’s leadership camps, serving as a behavior therapist for children with special needs, teaching lessons on native wildlife, and experiencing the therapeutic qualities of splatter painting with a roomful of kindergartners! While studying for my degree, I spent three months in Thessaloniki, Greece introducing basic English to children in a low-income school in the inner city. Now, I am grateful for this chance to help enrich the lives of Creative Play students by encouraging curiosity, teamwork and imagination in learning and in life! I am so excited for the opportunity to learn from each student, and to help foster their individuality and a love for learning.