My name is Dottie Hoover and at BlackRock, I teach visual art classes. Before BlackRock, I was the Care Educator for 1st and 2nd grade at Montgomery County Public Schools. At The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), I was the Director of Child Care and was also a part of the senior staff at KinderCare. When I retired, I thought I would enjoy time relaxing. But I was just so bored! When I discovered volunteering with BlackRock, it was a lifesaver.
How many years have you taught at BlackRock so far? How many hours do you teach per week?
I’ve been with BlackRock for almost 4 years now. The hours vary – during Spring Break Camp, I could be teaching up to 6.5 hours for 5 days during the week plus my two Sunday classes.
What classes do you teach and why did you want to teach at BlackRock?
I have taught the You & Me Art Class for 3- 5 year olds and Crazy Creature Crafts which is for 5- 8 year olds. I have been working with the Spring Break Camp for the last 2 years, camp aftercare and the Summer Camp. I am always glad to be here at BlackRock. I enjoy the time with the kids and the people here. There can be crazy moments with the kids sometimes, but I am always pleased to see them happy.
Which class has been your favorite to teach and why?
I don’t think I have a favorite class. I like them all! Working with kids from kindergarten to grade 3 would be my favorite age group. I really like the Sunday classes I teach because they are smaller and I can give more individual attention to the kids. I also like aftercare because there are a lot of different odds and ends for us to do. We can dance, free play, and make crafts.
What have been your highlights at BlackRock?
Some of the kids at YMCA come back from college to visit me. One student told me that I had inspired him to become a teacher. This has happened 3 or 4 times. It feels great to see that they’ve started on a great path with the YMCA and I helped contributed to that.
What is your favorite moment as a BlackRock teacher?
There’s SO many. My favorite moment was when I was told that we were going to do this interview! Another moment was when one of the parents told me that coming to the You & Me Art Class inspired them to get back into crafting. Another time would be when one of the parents sent a nice email to Jason, the Education Director, about how much they enjoyed the class I taught. It was a very proud moment for me. We don’t often get nice comments or recognition.
What does teaching at BlackRock mean to you?
It means a lot to me. BlackRock gives me a lot of fulfillment. When I retired, I realized that I missed the kids. When I am here I feel satisfaction. To know that I did something during the day – even though things can get crazy – that it affected a child in a positive way feels really rewarding.