Skip to Content
Jean M. Gallagher-Heil MA
Phone: 831.477.5477
Email: Send a Message
Office Hours: Monday 11:30-1:00

Tuesday 4:00-5:00

Wednesday 4:30-5:30

& by appointment
Location: 1506D

Children's CenterEarly Childhood EducationSLO Assessment Review Committee

Jean M. Gallagher-Heil MA
Early Childhood Education Faculty & Department Chair

Jean Gallagher-Heil

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education & Curriculum Development
With Cabrillo College since 2001

When I was in Kindergarten I came home every day and taught my younger sister, everything I had learned that day at school! On some level, as a 5-year old, I knew that my life's work was to be a teacher!

When I went to College I planned to study English and be a writer, but after taking my first Psychology class I was hooked on trying to learn everything I could about how the brain works, perception, social and emotional development, cognition, attention, motivation and more!

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
– William Butler Yeats

Then, as I prepared to graduate with my BA in Psychology, I had no idea what I was going to do next, when a dear friend introduced me to the van den Berg Learning Center and Lab School, there at SUNY New Paltz. I proceeded to apply for the teaching credential program, later completing my pre-student teaching in a Montessori preschool, followed by student teaching in a 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade "Open Classroom" at the lab school. These two experiences changed my life's path, as I realized my passion for teaching and for young children.

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John

I took a cross country trip, and landed in San Francisco which became my first home in California. In San Francisco, I began working at a Montessori school, where I taught art.

My next stop on my teaching journey was a small private preschool in Daly City, where I worked with some remarkable early childhood teachers who helped me develop a teaching philosophy based on the work of Rudolf Dreikurs, who believed children (and all of us) needed to feel a sense of belonging.

A few years later, I realized it was time to return to school. Having grown up on the East Coast, Teachers College, Columbia University had always been a dream school for me. I applied and began studying at Teachers College where I earned my Master’s Degree in Child Development and Early Childhood Curriculum Development.

"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn." -Maya Angelou

I returned to California, where I had the opportunity to teach at the Stanford University, Bing Lab School. This was another powerful learning experience where I had the opportunity to work with preschool age children, and also to step into a mentoring role with student teachers (Stanford Psychology majors). I also had the opportunity to work with remarkable early childhood professionals at Bing, who helped me to refine my teaching philosophy, with a powerful emphasis on play as the best way to learn.

"Play is the exultation of the possible." ~Martin Buber

My next stop was to begin my own family, with my husband and life partner. I gave birth to our son and three years later, our daughter was born.

During those early years, I worked as the Master Teacher in the Toddler classroom of the San Jose State University Lab School. There, I worked with 2-3 year old children and student teachers (SJSU Child & Adolescent Development majors). It was an incredible opportunity to learn about toddlers and while there, I got to have my own children with me, as 2-year olds, in the Toddler classroom.

San Jose State was also where I began teaching adult classes. I began teaching for Child and Adolescent Development and also taught for the Elementary Education Department.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” ~Rumi

Following a move to Santa Cruz County, I began teaching for Cabrillo College as an adjunct faculty member in the Early Childhood Education Department. Joining the Cabrillo ECE Department made me feel like I had come home! I immediately had a true sense of belonging, and I knew I wanted to teach here and be part of this amazing program for the foreseeable future!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the
world.” – Nelson Mandela

A few years later, I had the opportunity to become a full-time faculty member of the ECE Department here at Cabrillo College. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as a faculty member and as the Department Chair for the Cabrillo College Early Childhood Education Department.

"Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch
the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down
the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen
learning and how to learn." - Loris Malaguzzi

Courses I will be teaching in Spring 2019:

Principles of Working With Young Children
Wednesdays, 6:30PM-9:35PM

Early Childhood Education Practicum
Cabrillo College Children's Center & Lab School
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 8:15AM-1:15PM
6 Thursday seminars from 4:00PM-6:00PM
2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/11, and 4/25

Early Childhood Education Practicum
Mentor Site
Practicum hours arranged with Mentor Teacher
6 Thursday seminars from 4:00PM-6:00PM
2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/11, and 4/25

Early Childhood Education Practicum Lab
Practicum hours arranged with Cabrillo College Children's Center & Lab School classroom and seminar TBA

Advanced Child Care Practicum
Practicum hours arranged with Cabrillo College Children's Center & Lab School classroom
8 Thursday seminars from 2:30PM-4:30PM
1/31, 2/14, 2/28, 3/14, 4/4, 4/18, 5/2 and 5/16

    Was this page helpful?   
Just Report It   Ask Cabrillo   WebAdvisor   Cabrillo Library   Cabrillo Bookstore   Canvas icon   Facebook Icon Twitter Icon YouTube

© 2019 Cabrillo Community College District

Campus Safety | Accessibility | Title IX

Main Campus, 6500 Soquel Drive Aptos CA 95003, 831.479.6100