PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — For two decades, Megan Gascon has dedicated her life to teaching young children and fostering a love of learning.
Gason’s Dunedin Elementary School classroom is full of love and admiration and lots of hugs.
"Every single kid who comes into my class knows that I love them, that's for sure, and I hug them every day,” Gascon said. “Every single day."
During the school year as a Pre-K teacher, she's creating opportunities for the youngest on campus to grow and become more independent.
in fact, for 20 years, Gascon has been giving kids a safe and happy place to have fun while learning.
"One of my favorite parts about being an early intervention teacher is to watch them grow,” Gascon said. “It's my favorite part because I have them when they're 3 and 4 years old, and then you see them in 3rd grade or 4th grade, and they're still coming and giving you hugs, and you get to check in with them to see how they're doing, so it's just really sweet.
I really love watching them grow up."
And even now in the summertime, she’s hard at working preparing students for the fall.
And it’s no summer camp.
Gascon is in the classroom from 8 am to 5 pm for 8 weeks as a VPK teacher.
“She's the model employee,” said Dunedin Elementary School Principal Tina Murphy. “She's what every school needs to have, especially in the early childhood grades.”
Gascon said it’s never too early to make lasting first impressions.
"If we build a good relationship first and a good rapport,” she said. “The learning comes very easily after that, but the kids need to trust you. They need to feel safe and comfortable and happy. So it all starts with just their happiness, and being comfortable with the adults in the room and the learning comes from there."