Meet Carolyn

Who am I? 

Carolyn Paetzel is a licensed educator and parent, with 25+ years working with parents, infants, and students to help deepen their understanding of each infant's unique and innate abilities. She has presented at numerous workshops, including the RIE® Infant/Toddler Conference and the MNAEYC State Conference, Carolyn has also served as a consultant for local child development programs. Inspired by Magda Gerber and a desire to connect and share the Educaring® Approach with others, she created the Friends of RIE® Minnesota (FORM) Network, a community-based forum of parents, educators, students, and administrators, who gather monthly to engage in topics relating to early childhood education. 


What aspect of the Educaring® Approach resonates with you the most and why?

The first time I read Magda Gerber's quote, "There is dignity in struggle. It gives our soul muscle" I was completely captivated by the simple, yet, brilliant wisdom of this philosophy. I knew that I needed to delve deeper and from that moment on, it has changed the course of my life.


What are you most grateful for?

Family and friends to share the full experience of life.


What is one thing you do for yourself? Or what would you like to do for yourself?

I don't go often enough but, there is a special spot in Northern Minnesota that is surrounded by undisturbed nature: rocks, trees, eagles, loons, fresh air, and a quiet lake; this is my rejuvenating paradise. 


If your life was a book or song, what would the title be?

I recently received a copy of a beautiful children's book, What Do You Do With An Idea?" written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom. I do believe this story eloquently captures my heart and honors all of the very, very patient "idea nurturers" in my life. I am grateful to each and every one of them!


What was your favorite book as a child?

"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein


What teacher inspired you the most? How? 

I don't think there was just one teacher. I think all of my teachers, mentors, family members, and friends each taught me something different. Each one of these experiences challenged and inspired me to stretch and figure out who I was, and what I could do.


What 3 words best describe you?

Inquisitive, passionate, persistent


What is the best question anyone has asked you?

"What if?"

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