Teacher Spotlight: Leta Bowman, early childhood.

March 24, 2021

Teacher Spotlight: Leta Bowman, early childhood.

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, staff writer.

Teacher Spotlight is a presentation of Shelby State Bank, with offices in Ludington, Pentwater, Shelby, Hart, Hesperia, Manistee, Montague, Whitehall, North Muskegon, and Fruitport. 

LUDINGTON –  Thousands of children attend early childhood education classes at daycare facilities across the country. Leta’s Educational Childcare and Learning Center in Ludington is owned and operated by Leta Bowman, a graduate of Ludington High School.

“I have been in education for 20 years,” Bowman said. “Once I graduated from Ludington High School, I moved to Grand Valley State University to pursue education and finish my master’s in business administration. I worked for Grand Rapids Public Schools for a few years after getting my teaching degree from GVSU. After a few years, I decided to open up my own business/childcare/school and have been doing this for 10 years.”

Bowman started her private daycare and learning center in her home. A few years ago, she purchased a larger facility on North Washington Avenue and hired more staff to be able to care for more children.

“I’ve been the owner, director, teacher, and childcare provider for three years now,” Bowman said. “I’m loving it so much.”

Ever since she was young, Bowman wanted to work with kids which is why she pursued her education degree. Even though she didn’t stay in the public school setting, she saidthere are a lot of similarities, no matter where you’re working with children and their families.

“I went into the educational field because I love working with children,” she said. “I’ve been working with children almost my entire life. I had a passion ever since I’ve been a young girl. Growing up around positive educators made myself think further into education as I became an adult. I remember to this day, before I went to college telling my mom and dad that I wanted to run my own childcare business someday. I wanted to take care of children, teach them, and be the one to make the decisions of the business. They said, ‘Go get your degree first,’ so, I went off college and got my degree in education and business.”

Bowman suggests that anyone interested in a career with children should try it out first.

“My advice for students going into education/early childhood is to work with children first and step in first-hand into the school/facility,” she said. “Working with children isn’t easy. It takes a special person to be a teacher/childcare provider. Many students think working with children will always be easy because they’re children. Guess what, it’s not.”

Working with children has many rewards, but definitely can have its own struggles. Bowman knows this first-hand after the pandemic hit last spring, forcing her and her staff to come up with new ideas and solutions to continue to offer quality care for her families.

“During the months of COVID, it was a struggle,” Bowman said. “We never had a consistent routine when it came to families. Families were coming and going and not having a set schedule. We never knew what was going to happen down the road with families and staffing. I stayed opened the entire time. I had very strict rules and procedures when it came to COVID-19. So far, we’ve been in the clear with no COVID exposures. We have been blessed”

Bowman continues to deal with all the changes due to the pandemic on a daily basis, but even though times have been stranger than ever before, she continues to love the choice she made to go into education and to provide educational services to her families.

“I love seeing the children on a daily basis,” Bowman said. “I love seeing the children having fun and learning daily. I love building a positive foundation for each individual child for the future. Being with these children and families make me so happy. I wouldn’t change one thing about my field today. I absolutely love it!”

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