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Servants of Grace

Early childhood educators in their own words

To learn more about Let the Children Come, the capital campaign to build a new Early Childhood Learning Center, please visit the campaign's website. You will find information on the progress of the campaign along with how you can donate as well.

Lauren Leyrer '12

Preschool Teacher/Director

Abiding Peace - Simpsonville, South Carolina

The first to tell: The thought of being the first teacher in a young child’s life (besides their parents, of course) always intrigued me. Being the first one to tell a child that he/she is Jesus’ little lamb is one of the most priceless gifts that I can give.

Student teaching: My experience at the MLC Early Childhood Learning Center was the most valuable of the three student teaching experiences I had. Being able to directly use what I was taught in my Early Childhood classes proved to be very beneficial. I was able to learn in a hands-on fashion, taking many strategies, ideas, and tactics with me.

She’s a little envious: I believe that a new ECLC at MLC can only mean good things. These children will receive quality care in a brand new facility that has been designed to best serve them and their needs. While I do greatly value my student teaching experience at the “old” ECLC, I am a little envious of the student teachers who will get to do their student teaching at the new ECLC!

Nancy Anderson

Lead Teacher

Lamb of Faith - Tacoma, Washington

Why she went back to MLC: When I accepted my call six years ago, I knew I needed more knowledge to do my job. And to have a licensed center, the lead teacher needs a certain number of credits in Early Childhood. I took MLC courses on campus, online, and here in Washington. The courses helped me better understand children ages 4-5.

Blessings for school, church, and community: I am happy to report that I’ve met all the state's requirements, and Lambs of Faith is now licensed for all-day preschool. This serves our community, offering what parents need. I pray this will increase our numbers and help feed into the kindergarten.

And she’s not done yet: I started my continuing education at the age of 44 and still want to continue now that I am 50. I have a personal goal to have my degree in early childhood education. I’d be interested in learning about infant and toddler care at the new MLC Early Childhood Learning Center.

Suzi Zimmerman '06

Kindergarten Teacher

Bethany - Kenosha, Wisconsin

ECE is important: In our society, it’s so vital to give young children experiences that help them make sense of the world God created for them. It’s such a blessing to touch little lives with the gospel message and bring them into the waiting arms of their Savior!

What she loves: It brings a smile to my face daily when I share Bible stories and see their faith in their Savior grow.

How-to and hands-on: My undergrad courses helped me understand how young children's minds work and what they need to be successful. MLC gave me factual how-to's as well as practical hands-on experience.

She got her master’s at MLC too: My graduate work at MLC really helped me become a better kindergarten teacher. Education constantly changes, and I enjoyed the opportunity to grow as a teacher. One of the huge benefits to me was the connections I was able to make with other teachers. I was very inexperienced, and they gave me so many great ideas that I now incorporate into my teaching.

Jennifer Uhlhorn '14

MLC Early Childhood Ed Major

Fount of Life - Colorado Springs, Colorado

Why she chose early childhood education: When I see that glimmer of excitement in a child's eyes, it drives me to be the best role model and teacher I can be.

We can learn from them: Children can be an example for us, for they have that child-like faith that we adults sometimes forget to have.

Why we need the Early Childhood Learning Center: Building this center shows the importance and need for early childhood education and educators. We need to realize, no matter how cute children are, they are sinful human beings, just like us. They crave and need the good news of the gospel. The center is a place where the seed of faith will be planted in their hearts.

About the new center: I have seen the plans, and boy, that is the perfect preschool set up. It is a dream center! Our synod can look to the new center as an example, and it will give us students ideas of how we want our future classrooms to be.

Rachel Lindwurm '14

MLC Early Childhood Ed Major

Good Shepherd - Sioux Falls, South Dakota

A unique opportunity: Early childhood education offers a unique opportunity to share the gospel with young children who are at a very critical age. Their young minds are just beginning to be shaped and molded to form morals and beliefs that they will hold their entire life. It is such a privilege for me to share the loving gospel message with children for the first time.

She has some experience already: I’ve been working with children since my first job at 15. I work with children at an early childhood center during the summer and on my breaks from school. I also enjoy teaching Sunday school.

The Early Childhood Learning Center ECLC—Good for Her, Good for the Synod: The center is a place specifically designed for the needs of children. The designs they chose can impact my future, when I, God willing, teach in my own center. The new center will be good for the whole synod, because it is showing that we recognize the growing field of ECE and how we can use the opportunity God has given us to reach more children and families with the gospel.

Rebecca Rixe '08

Preschool Directory/Teacher

Crown of Life - Fort Myers, Florida

When she graduated four years ago: I was assigned to start a preschool in Wisconsin. I was a little fearful, but I found I was more prepared than I thought. MLC taught me how to design registration forms and handbooks, what items to purchase, how to set up a classroom, how to design a schedule, and how to teach developmentally appropriate lessons. In my second call here in Florida, I still use what I learned at MLC.

Evangelism 101: Only one of our 32 children was in our congregation. So many children hadn’t heard any of the Bible stories. When I hear Hindu children thanking Jesus for dying on the cross to take away our sins, so we can one day be with him in heaven, I get goose bumps.

MLC is the model: Many congregations view MLC’s ECLC as a guide to what they should do! It would be extremely important for MLC to offer early childhood continuing education because we’d trust them and would want to continue learning through them.