Work We Do: Barbara Schandel, Pine Tree Day Nursery

I’m Barbara Schandel. I work at Pine Tree Day Nursery. I am the preschool teacher here.

I have been a preschool teacher here for seven years now.

Basically, the preschool class usually starts around 8 o’clock. So 8 o’clock they’ll come over, waiting for the other children to come in. They’ll do puzzles, they’ll color. And 9 o’clock kind of starts the regular routine for the day; they’ll all get ready, have a snack, and then from there we’ll have Circle Time.

Circle Time is when they can communicate with us and their peers in a learning situation. We try to have everyone get involved with it. They’re going to be going to kindergarten, and they’re going to have to be able to sit for a good five to eight minutes. So that’s what we’re trying to do in Circle Time.

Every day, someone special comes in. Monday we do yoga; Tuesday we have a Spanish teacher; Wednesday a community member comes in; Thursday we have dance; and Friday we have a music teacher come in.

I had my own preschool for about 15 years in Wading River. And then I stopped. I thought I could retire, like I was done. And I didn’t like it. After one year, that was it.

I like working with children. Children are fun. No matter what you do, they can just brighten you up. They always come in, hug you and welcome you. When they say it’s unconditional love, that’s what the children have for you. They become part of your family — especially here, it’s a really loving family atmosphere. I’m with some of them for eight or nine hours a day.

I can see them grow, like when they first come in here and they can’t color and at the end of the four or five months they’re here, they bring me a beautiful picture they colored. They grow from not knowing the alphabet to singing it. That’s what I like.

“The Work We Do” is a News-Review multimedia project profiling workers around Riverhead Town. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @riverheadnewsreview.