Growing at Role Model Moms

By Sara, Childcare Coordinator with Role Model Moms

Sara (right) with volunteer tutor Leah (left)

Sara (right) with volunteer tutor Leah (left)

My name is Sara Corcoran and I am this year’s childcare coordinator for TCM’s Role Model Moms program. I am a 28 year old mother of three, who enjoys playing in the park with my kids, jogging, reggae music, and anything Star Wars related.

So far in the nursery I have had the privilege of working with three of the funniest and patient childcare workers I have ever met. From inventing crafts and songs to cleaning up barf and boogers, we work together to make sure the children are playing in a safe, creative, clean, energetic, fun environment. I have an eighteen month old daughter with trisomy 21 and numerous health concerns. I love that this position allows me to bring her along and it is overwhelming to watch her play and grow with the other children in such an accepting atmosphere. Since receiving her trisomy 21 diagnosis it has been an underlying fear of mine that her developmental disabilities will affect her ability to fit in with other kids. After six months of working in the nursery I am left feeling shallow and overjoyed at the same time
to realize overall she is just like any typical child in her ability to make friends and play.

Although my position is primarily in the nursery, I have had the honour of working with our moms and sharing my experiences with resources, mothering and recovery. At the age of 26, I returned to school while pregnant with two kids and somehow managed to receive my High School Diploma eight years after dropping out. I understand the full impact of going back to school as a single parent and was elated when offered employment with a program that extends to mothers seeking a higher education. I know how hard and discouraging it can be trying to balance everything and I empathize deeply with many of the struggles our moms are experiencing. In the past I have felt very alone in my struggles to support all my family’s needs. Whether physical, financial, psychological, emotional; be it navigating CAS, Children’s Services, Ontario Works, The Hospital for Sick Children, Legal Aid etc… It’s reassuring to know that all the personal trials I’ve experienced over the years can be used and shared for a constructive purpose despite the pain they have caused in my own life. I strongly believe it’s important to maintain an open, honest dialogue with our students in order to build trust and offer support when asked.

The staff at Role Model Moms are remarkably dedicated and have been extremely supportive of my role in the program. Although Chiara is Role Model Mom’s classroom teacher and coordinator, she works in conjunction with the classroom assistant, tutors, moms, church staff, and childcare workers in a position that outlasts the classroom on all fronts. From lunchtime discussions, to Bible study, to community outreach, I have seen her emotionally invest in each one of her students on a personal level. She has taught me there is much more to teaching than academics and I aspire to meet the needs of others in my own community with the same hands-on approach.

Overall TCM has been very accommodating and supportive, especially during my daughter’s unexpected open heart surgery this past March. From prayer to the time off required to care for her, TCM has gone above and beyond to make sure I have everything I could possibly need to enable her speedy recovery. It is amazing to receive such generosity from an employer and to know I am not just a cog in the wheel but a valued human being. I know my experience here has made me grow not just as an employee but as a mother and spiritual human being.