Ingrid Elken

Lead Preschool Teacher

Red Door

Wow - I can’t believe it has been 37 years working in the field, a journey of Early Childhood Education adventures serving over hundreds of amazing, unique, inspiring children and families. In this journey I have cherished memories of working with children from 18 months through 6th grade. My roles have included starting with after school care, an art teacher, an elementary school teacher aide, a toddler teacher and a preschool teacher, a director of two very different and distinctive preschools before coming to UCSB Children’s Centers - now almost 14 years. Being here as well as all of my other past positions working with children has given me abundant rich blessings to learn and grow from continuously. With that being said, there have been added bonuses for training and education in the ECE professional opportunities such as: Montessori course studies; receiving a BA in Liberal Arts with a Child, Family and Society concentration; RIE philosophy and trainings; PITC; attendance of many National Association for Young Children Conferences; and a most memorable adventure was to go advocate for children at the Senate offices and finally visit the US Capitol buildings. My most unimaginable opportunity was to participate in the Study Tour to Reggio Emilia, Italy in 2000. My future interests in professional development are related to how children’s creativity, thinking and learning is fostered in children’s early years of development. Currently in Red Door I am fascinated daily by how the preschool stage of development is one of the most incredible growth periods of their lives - socialization, personal identity, self-regulation and physical competencies all developed within the daily activities they encounter and create - what an amazing honor to do so here at OFCC!