Quality in caregiving.

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Faces of rainbowtrekkers:

Ashley Detray - Georgia on my mind and children in my heart

Under the headline “Faces of rainbowtrekkers” we sporadically introduce you to different members of our educational teams. Today, please meet Ashley DeTray from our kindergarten in Junkersdorf. Our principal, Silke Blietschau, spoke to the native American from Atlanta, Georgia.

Today I want to introduce you to one of my colleagues from Junkersdorf. It´s Ashley DeTray Fox and we are sitting in my office for an interview while it’s 35°C outside. She told me a little bit about her life, her experiences, and her future plans.

Ashley has been with rainbowtrekkers since 2014, and a part of the Junkersdorf team since 2017. She was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. Before building a life in Germany, she studied for five years at Georgia State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, with a specialization in teaching English as a foreign language and mathematics.

Ashley taught 2nd grade at Oakhurst Elementary School in Atlanta, and 1st grade at Vicenza Elementary School in Vicenza, Italy. While living in Italy she travelled throughout Europe, where she eventually met her partner – in Köln! And the rest is history, current history…

Ashley’s passion to educate children and care for others is reflected in her work. She strives to support and inspire her children, colleagues, and parents whole heartedly. She motivates the children to become active learners, to explore and build connections with the world around them. She encourages them to discover their awareness and confidence in themselves, and their abilities.

Ashley notes that working at rainbowtrekkers has changed her perspective on the value of bilingualism for children under three. Before working at rainbowtrekkers, she worked with primary school aged children, so when she joined our baby group, she initially was a bit sceptical on how her qualifications would be utilized in the classroom.

She was surprised to observe how well the children participated in picking up English as a foreign language. Not having had any German language experience, Ashley was forced to put the theory to work, and after time and with lots of patience, the children showed more interest in English and could also follow her directions in English without thinking twice. By the end of the kita year the kids had already acquired a basic English vocabulary, and some could form two- to three-word sentences. Currently Ashley is learning some words of Hebrew to support a new Hebrew speaking child in her settling-in process.

”Without even making a big effort with a lesson or an objective, children are absorbing so much from us as educators; in just our simple social interactions with them. This is powerful. And I want to be sure I use it wisely and with care. My first year at rainbowtrekkers totally boosted my interest in working with this age and being sure to give the children a positive environment to build these language skills, that will influence their future academic achievements and well-being.”

Ashley has lots to offer to rainbowtrekkers, to the families and to her team. She is currently in the works of creating a Family Center Program for all rainbowtrekker’s three kindergartens, in hopes to build a strong community that will provide support and education to the children, parents, and staff of rainbowtrekkers.

(Interview conducted by Silke Blietschau, principal of rainbowtrekkers Junkersdorf)

Members of:

Förderverein Frühe Bildung in der Kita
Transparente Zivilgesellschaft