Olivia Jones and Tia Brooks have a combined total of over 53 years as educators in the Calvert County School system. They are associated with the before and after school programs. After working with them over the past year, I knew that I had to write this article.
As a school bus driver, I would see them every day, and observe what they do and how they interact with the kids. They always have a positive attitude and are upbeat, even when things get tough.
The school day for them starts with a lesson plan. Some of the activities include group gatherings with topics such as: All About Me, Booktime, Music, Art Projects, Learning about Weather, The Alphabet, Free Play Time, and Breakfast.
Olivia and Tia have a passion for working with children and it shows. They are kind, attentive, and the givers of good advice. Their teaching skills have been honed and it shows. They attend to minor cuts/scrapes with band aids. They listen to the kids stories; show patience; respond and attend to their sadness as well as their happiness.
They are effective disciplinarians. Their guidance continues as they encourage the students to play nice and be kind to each other. The kids absolutely adore and respect Ms O and Ms Tia, as they are affectionately called. I’m sure that they have become role models to many of their students over the years.
Mrs Tia says that the best thing about her job is seeing the kids smiles. No matter how the day starts or ends, I always let them know that “tomorrow is a new day”!
Ms Olivia feels that “In School Learning” is essential for the best retention of information. She also feels that the social aspects of school are extremely important in a child’s life.
These ladies Face challenges every day. They say that their reward is seeing how the kid’s progress. The best part is watching.
All that we plant in the children, bloom when they become productive citizens in our community. They have both stated that their success would not be possible without the support and guidance from their supervisors, their principal, Calvert County Public Schools and the parents.
Thirty some years ago, Ms Olivia, a single mother, wanted to wait until her daughter was of age to enter school before getting a job. When the time came, she interviewed with the Calvert County Board of Education and was hired right away. This allowed her to take her daughter to school. A career was launched! The person that has influenced her the most is her mother, Vera.
Mrs Tia grew up in Calvert County and attended Sunderland Elementary School. The biggest influences in her life were her kindergarten teachers, Mrs Miller and Mrs Parran.
Over the years both ladies have worked for many schools in the county including Anglel’s Systems, Prime Time Children’s Center, Beach Elementary, Sunderland Elementary, and Windy Hill Elementary.
It has been my pleasure to work with both of them. They are an asset to the county school system. They always have a smile on their face and a kind word for me when I arrive and depart the school. They make my day!
Congratulations to Olivia Jones and Tia Brooks for their 53 years of dedicated and faithful service to this community. I hope to see them again when school starts up in the Fall. Their students will never forget them.
By Tom Alexander Bus #89 (Reid & Reid, Inc)
National Endowment for the Arts, Retiree