Give your own future a head start. OLHSA Head Start Assistant Teacher: Alphonso Gilmore Posted: August 01, 2019

Alphonso Gilmore, Assistant Teacher

Give your own future a head start.

I’ve taken an interesting path to becoming a teacher. I started out as a custodian 14 years ago. As part of my job, I’d go in the classroom to clean. I got to know the kids and they got to know me. "Everybody would say, You should try out teaching."


 I had never thought about it, but then something clicked. I’ve been an assistant in the classroom in early childhood for 12 years now. It’s only recently that I’ve been with OLHSA. I did not know they had a program close to my home until a parent told me how much she loves their Head Start program. That made me apply about a month ago, and so far, it's been great.


 The benefits package is fantastic. The salary is comparable to my previous teaching job. They’ve been financially helping me further my education and get the certification I need to advance my career. 


 My first day here was a memorable one. I was standing in the classroom by the toybox and the children came over to get some toys. I bent down to help them and so many of them gave me a hug. I thought, “Wow! That’s amazing. On my first day!”


 I also really enjoy working with a lead teacher. When I arrived, she welcomed me, showed me the ropes and helped me get to know all of the kids. The staff and upper management are just as considerate. They made sure I had everything I needed in the onboarding process. 


 I’m excited about the mission at OLHSA because it’s about helping families in difficult circumstances. A lot of parents are looking for work, and we are the ones that accept their children. We help families with employment resources. We encourage parents when they’re applying for jobs. I’d call us family advocates. 


 The parents give us a lot of positive feedback. I love the relationships we build with the families and children. It’s very rewarding.