August 20, 2009
Louisville Jobs-Lead Instructor in the Early Head Start Program
The purpose of the Louisville Jobs articles is to give readers an inside view of different positions in the Louisville area.
Jeanne (Burrus) Thomas worked as a Lead Instructor with the Early Head Start program at the DuValle Educational Center in Louisville from 2003-2004 and the Riverport Educational Center in Louisville from 2004-2005. She held various positions since her employment with the Board of Education in1987 in addition to her Lead instructor position, including a Parent-Teacher Aid, a Bus Monitor, and a Teacher Assistant. The job responsibilities of a Lead Instructor include preparing a plan and schedule for the children, which range in age from 0-3 years old. Goals are prepared for developmental evaluation, fine-motor skills,cognitive skills, and ensuring children hit growth milestones properly. If a child struggles with obtaining goals, additional resources are offered to the child and family from organizations such as Seven Counties (www.sevencounties.org) and First Steps of Kentucky (chfs.ky.gov/dph/firststeps.htm).
Jeanne enjoyed working with the children, watching them achieve, grow and learn. As a Lead Instructor, she believed in “focusing on what the children could do, not on what they couldn’t do”. A challenge of the Lead Instructor position for Jeanne was advising parents on potential challenges regarding their children. Jeanne states “you must be able to tell parents the good and the bad things”. Jeanne also beleives she learned how to deliver “honest news” about the children to parents. Noting every family structure is different, Jeanne realized developmental plans would vary and sees how she has become more understanding and sympathetic to the special needs of children.
The requirements for the Lead Instructor position include completing a CDA (Child Development Credential) or to continue pursing the degree while working. Continual training, including in-service workshops, back to school programs and workshops addressing how to approach classroom needs are also mandatory.
Jeanne has lived in Louisville all her life and believes the city is a great place to raise a family. When asked about the opportunities in Louisville, she states “the opportunities are there, you just need to avail yourself and get the needed skills to obtain the job you are looking for”.
For more information on the Early Childhood Programs in Louisville Kentucky, visit
To learn more about Jefferson County Public Schools Head Start/Early Head Start Program, contact (502) 485-3919.
For more information on employment with JCPS, visit
JCPS employment.- http://www.jefferson.k12.ky.us/Employment.html