My Life As A Teacher Caregiver

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Articles, tips, and observations regarding being a nanny.

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And All That Jazz! --- Video Transcript

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been nominated for the Nanny Spark Award. Part of the process of being a contender was to create a video about myself. There was a limit on the length. How does one sum up decades spent as a caregiver in 600 seconds?

It wasn't easy, and edits were made. I decided I  would like to share the material I wrote here.

Thanks for coming and reading!


Hello. My name’s Lisa Werth. I’m a nominee in the seasoned nanny category for the Nanny SPARK Award. I spent a lot of time trying to define me in just three words. Hence the long video that was shot. However, after careful thought, I realized it’s not just my philosophy with the kids but who I strive to be when creating relationships with parents and others.

Laughter as medicine over that spoonful of sugar!

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

First Word, Humor. It is vital. A trait my father used with his kids. The happy baby gurgling and grinning. The toddler chuckling at funny things. The preschooler learning to tell jokes. And, as I see with my charges who enjoy comedy and irony in situations. Laughter relieves stress and tension.

Sing it Aretha!

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Second Word, Respect. Honoring children individually and developmentally. (Valuing their interests, needs and schedules to achieve desired behavior). In modeling respect, we mold manners, morals, virtues, and showing responsibility to toys, spaces, people and the world in general.

Tuning In

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Third Word, Awareness. Understanding what motivates children and makes them do what they do. Awareness is figuring out why exactly the baby is crying and what needs be done to help them stop. It’s sending a preschooler can’t self-regulate after lunch to quiet time. It’s the tone in which my charges speak when they get off the school bus that clues me in on their day in the classroom. Awareness means thinking outside my own box with my interactions with their parents and other adults that I function within the course of my job. I have more patience and tact when I consider what makes people tick.

Upon a time a little girl saw the movie Mary Poppins.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I’d like to share my story and highlight what the characteristics of being a service-minded, professional, positive attitude, resourceful, and knowledgeable nanny has meant to me


I grew up on a farm with my 9 siblings outside of Markesan, Wisconsin. Go Packers!

My mother went back to school at 50. Being a nurse with ten children, she knew tons about child development, parenting, health and first aid. Yet, when people sought her advice, she wouldn’t say “well I think”, it was always this doctor or other expert says this or that.

A week after graduating high school, I was hired in a summer childcare position in Metro Chicago chosen over experienced caregivers to watch four boys; two 14 year olds, 10 yr. old and baby. I stayed with the family for another year while deciding to major in theater instead of going to chef school that autumn.

Supplementing my income at MSU, I taught community youth theater classes and worked in childcare centers in classrooms with more than 20 children. I continued more of that after college. My sister Karen, who earned an associate’s degree as an Infant Child Care Specialist was making more as a live-in nanny watching one school age boy. Thus, I looked at nanny ads in the Chicago Tribune. I interviewed for a job with parents of a six month old girl. We so clicked in spite of them being Bears fans. Thirty minutes after the interview ended the job, they phoned. I was offered the position. I accepted.

While nannying, I continued teaching in community centers on evenings and weekends.


Mother's Necessity, The Nanny's Too.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I returned to Wisconsin after my dad died. Between jobs, I used a computer at a beautiful new rural library, which had this cool invention called ---Dial-Up and AOL (Wi-Fi what took you so long). I read the East Coast papers locating nanny job in the classifieds. Parents were amazed that I was calling them from Cheesehead Landia.

I saw agency ads in the Boston Globe and made contact. Very supportive and sweet. Those agencies became some of the first in the country to have websites, because as one put it, what if there are more like Lisa who will go online and apply with us directly?

In Massachusetts, I met a person involved in the creation of the World Wide Web. Because of the Internet, eventually I would come to have access to all types of information to help me be a better nanny. When I hear his name mentioned even now, I smile thinking of all the ways owe him.


Raising A Bar --- Service Mindedness

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)


In the following job, the mom died unexpectedly shortly after I started. As much as I thought I was Miss Knowledgeable Nanny, I realized what I didn’t know. I was compelled to help the kids move forward related back to some unresolved childhood traumas I had. After that position, I chose to work with children in homes experiencing some type of change and adjustment due to trauma in the family, or other discord and upheaval. Homes impacted by death, addiction, divorce, mental illness, and sometimes a few had a combination of those things.


Life's too short to hang out with people who aren't resourceful. Jeff Bezos

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

It was a necessity to become Resourceful and where to gather sound information. Who to go to for genuine guidance and support. I didn’t want to be “good” for goods’ sake. The children needed responsive adults around them to thrive.

In addition to the books and parenting magazines, there were now websites for me to go to find professional advice on caring for children in crisis. Some children had various learning abilities needing to be challenged at times, and a few others with disabilities. Among them were children adopted from foreign countries. Others who were multiples. I studied on all of this too. The more I read, the less I had exclusive faith in just experience on my resume. Being enlightened is empowering.


Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character. A. Einstein

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)

As difficult as the various work demands are in caring for all ages of children in all types of homes, I knew I had to have the right Attitude about the work I do and my role as a responsible nanny. Prior to that former momboss dying in my job she wrote on my Christmas gift thank you for your patience and perseverance… It takes stamina to sustain this at times, but it’s a big part of being a genuine caregiver. Enduring the challenges makes us stronger.


A few years ago, my older sister died unexpectedly. It was time for a break from being the caregiver in some challenging situations as I coped with my loss.

A couple who was about to have their first baby hired me. I had a few weeks to wait through the holidays.

With waiting, I finally discovered the National Association of Nanny Care and the Nanny Credential. I lacked official clock hours earned…


The essence of being a terrific nanny is...

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

being Knowledgeable and understanding of how to foster a child’s healthy development.

I found affordable online early childhood education sites with my friend, Google. One offered a year end sale for an annual subscription for 120 clock hours.

While waiting for the baby to arrive, my first priorities were courses related to zero to three months. A favorite one was on brain development.

Research is constantly evolving. When I started in this profession it predated, The Back to Sleep. While I learned along the way to do it, the grandparents of my newborn little charge had to have it explained to them. These were retired professionals who had been trained in medicine and early childhood too. We are only as good as we stay current.

After completing the infant classes, I studied more about toddlers, preschoolers, and young school age children. I volunteered with older kids and wondered what was online to learn about them. Viola, found it.

My quest became finding free quality courses. I eagerly shared the links with colleagues. Parents do respect professional resources we can share with them in diplomatic ways.

I invested $50 in that initial subscription and about $450 in other ones, having earned close to 400 clock hours, I am more marketable for jobs and it’s boosted my income level potential substantially.

At this point I won’t say do the training for the salary bump, or the resume boost. Do it because you take pride in what you do professionally and want to be the best. With everything I have, education and experience, my job related stress is low.