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Teacher profile: Nidia Carusotti

HOLLYWOOD — Being in a room filled with tiny babies may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but for Hollywood Preschool teacher Nidia Carusotti there is no place else she would rather be.

“I’ve always loved working with the babies,” said Carusotti, a teacher at the preschool since 1995. “We get to come to work every day and be happy.”

As a child in Argentina, Carusotti spent time lining up her dolls and playing teacher. She always loved children, so she studied education in college and graduated with a degree from an Argentine university. When Carusotti moved to the U.S. in 1995, she took more classes at Miami Dade College and earned her state teaching certificate.

 She enjoys sharing her knowledge and skills with the youngest children in the preschool and gets tremendous satisfaction from the simplest smile from one of the babies.

“A big smile to me is enough,” Carusotti said. “When you talk to the babies and they smile, you can melt.”

She, along with two other teachers, has 12 babies in her room. During a morning in late November, the children played with small balls, square rattles and containers filled with raw oatmeal. It looked like play, but the babies got a full sensory experience where they learned colors and shapes, exercised fine motor skills and experimented with taste when the oats wound up in their mouths. Carusotti worked hard to make sure each baby received the entire experience.

“I want to share my skills with them,” she said. “The best thing is seeing that they learned what you taught them.”

She also enjoys watching babies grow and learn to walk. At any given moment in the spacious baby room, children test their legs by toddling around the room. The babies in the room range from six weeks to 1 year old, so by the time they walk well, they typically move on to the next classroom.

“The kids are beautiful,” Carusotti said. “I think we have the best room. If you aren’t having a happy day, the babies can change your mood. I cannot see my life without teaching, with no children around.”

When Carusotti began teaching at the preschool, it was located in a little house by the clinic. A few years later, they moved to the old building on the Hard Rock site, and a few years after that, the school moved to the Dorothy S. Osceola Building on the Hollywood Reservation. The teacher-to-child ratio used to be one teacher for every three children, but it is now 1-to-4.

“The population is increasing, and that’s a good thing,” Carusotti said.

When she leaves work, Carusotti enjoys watching her two grandchildren, ages 8 and 5. She lives with Carlo, her husband of 38 years, in Miami Lakes. Her advice to aspiring teachers is simple: Get a good education, have a lot of patience, be honest and give the kids love.

“I’m so glad to work here,” she said. “I think God supplied me with this job. I feel like the preschool is a big family, and it’s a pleasure to come to work.”

 

 

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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.

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