Mary Latta

Who Am I professionally?

I began working with young children in 1985 as a toddler teacher. Over the years I have worked with all age groups and lately I teach college at 2 local community colleges: Foothill and Cabrillo. I specialize in Administration, Infant and Toddler Care, Adolescence, Curriculum and Anti-Bias/Diversity Education. One of my favorite jobs was as a Master Teacher for a couple of years in the Cabrillo Lab School, both with toddlers and preschoolers. I enjoyed the dynamic of working with children, instructors, families and students. I first taught a practicum class in 1997 in Colorado at Red Rocks College. Later I directed the Mission College Lab School and collaborated with thePracticum Instructors.

My family

In my personal life I am married with 6 children, from 17-26 years old: 2 by birth, 2 adopted and 2 step children. It is lively and energetic in our house, not in the least because of our 6 cats and 3 dogs. (Bruno is my new puppy in the photo above. I am training him to be a support dog.) Currently we have one teenager/young adult daughter at home who just turned 18 and our 25 year old son who moved home during the pandemic.

My Educational Background

I began my education at UC Santa Cruz, studying Psychology. I later transferred to Cabrillo College for ECE classes. I completed my MA in Human Development at Pacific Oaks College in 2012. I have my sights set on doing a Doctorate program in the next few years and I am researching a few. My goal is to complete a Doctorate before my 23 year old son gets his. He is working on his MS degree this year and moving one to his PhD next year. (I may miss the race on this one.) I believe in lifelong learning and I am always looking for the next thing to learn more about.

My Other Work

I work as a consultant for various centers and Santa Clara County providing training for early childhood teachers. I was a keynote speaker at the ECE Conference in Santa Cruz in October 2019. I enjoyed the experience of talking about the importance of pausing in our work to take care of ourselves and truly understand children's needs. The most interesting consulting job I have had was Lunches with Mary at a child care center in Mountain View. I went twice a month to meet with the Director and staff. I answered questions or did observations or found resources to support their learning and growth.