Anna Raumaker works with a child in the gardens of the Child Development Lab School.

How to calm a crying baby is a skill every parent would love to have—especially at 3 a.m. In her “Little Things Mean a Lot” course on how to recognize and prevent shaken baby syndrome, Anna Raumaker discusses not only how to soothe babies but why they cry. For her presentation, the College of the Mainland adjunct instructor won first place in the SoftChalk 2013 Lesson Challenge, a national contest sponsored by SoftChalk and judged by educators from across the U.S.

Teaching since 2002 for the COM Child Development and Education Department, Raumaker created the presentation to train employees in compliance with state standards but wanted to “be more innovative.” As she added videos, current research, games and New York Times articles to her presentation, she showed educators how to prevent shaken baby syndrome, recognize infants’ cries and soothe a baby.
“The course went from being lecture-driven to being more constructive,” said Raumaker.
With 17 years in child care and a master’s degree in early childhood education, Raumaker has a wealth of experience to bring; however, education was not the career she originally planned.
“I said, ‘I’m not going into teaching, I’m not going into teaching,’ and I think I just figured out ‘Why am I fighting this?’” she said. “I love to plan things and teachers have to plan lessons all the time.”
A former Spanish prekindergarten teacher and child care trainer, Raumaker currently teaches preschool part-time at the Lab School.  She enjoys the outdoors and helped complete four gardens for the Lab School, funded by a grant she wrote. Continually working on new projects with children, she finds their excitement contagious.
“When they express an interest, I express an interest,” said Raumaker. “I like working with children because of their creativity, wonder and discovery, and it’s always something new.”