Josh Small is a unique fit as a TCCC teacher—just ask the Yellow Room kids! Combine his love for children with his love for music and the arts, and you have a recipe for someone who lights up the day for the ones he interacts with every day. His musical gifts abound, playing the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and drums. You’ll hear him sing a lot, including in the annual TCCC Christmas Pageant. His music has taken him around the world. Josh has traveled to play all over the USA except Hawaii and Alaska. He toured in Europe, Australia, and Brazil, for example. And here at home he has used his musical skills to help with SPARC.
About 8 years ago Josh needed a change. He graduated from VCU with a degree in Philosophy and had been working various restaurant jobs. After returning from a 6-week band tour, Josh decided to make the call to TCCC as a couple of his friends who worked there had suggested. “There are not too many jobs like this one, where a person loves to come to work—especially in the morning when you have quieter time to talk with the kids. It’s an easy job. It’s a special honor to be with these kids….Their language acquisition is poetry. Like when one of my kids said ‘close the lights’ when telling me to cut the lights off in this room. Who says that? Only children! ….I used that phrase in a song.”
Josh has a special style in working with our children. He is straightforward. “They remember everything, and you forget everything. It gives me a good way to teach about making mistakes—it’s okay to make a mistake and own up to it….I use prompts and backward teaching to instill confidence. Who makes mistakes? We all do!”
Josh admits that it was really after he finished school that he started to love to read for pleasure, and now he is an avid reader.
What is his inspiration? “My mom and dad. Mom took care of children—she drove a school bus for years….My dad is just a big kid—he loves to play!” Josh says he takes after both of them. No doubt he sets a terrific example for the children he mentors. He is a true TCCC star teacher—thanks Josh for all that you do!
P.S. On Tuesday, July 11th, Josh’s mom had a very serious operation. We purposefully delayed the release of this article to give time for healing. We are pleased that his mother has continued to improve over the past six weeks. We continue to pray for Josh and his family.