Cedric Bell is a perfect fit for the early childhood profession, though he didn't begin teaching until he was nearly 40 years old.
"In 2009, my youngest son was on the way," he said, "so I decided it was time to stay home and watch my kids grow up. I joined the PTA and volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club as a basketball coach for 3- and 4-year-olds."
Acelero Learning, a local Head Start center, was right behind the Boys and Girls Club, which led Cedric to have a life-changing encounter about two years ago.
"I happened to be coaching the son of the center's director, who saw how good I was with children. She said, 'You've been here two or three years, and you'd fit right in over at Acelero. You just have to get your Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential.' So, I signed up for the course at the at the University of Nevada and began working at Acelero as a floater. I just got done with the CDA this May, in the midst of the pandemic, and I'm now an assistant teacher."
The course and credential helped Cedric up his game.
"The CDA made me a better teacher," he said. "It helped me understand why I was doing things a certain way... I learned more about how to approach certain kids and how to bridge the language barrier with kids who don't speak English. It's made me want to go on in school and earn my [bachelor's degree] so I can be a lead teacher."