Meet Gloria Morales Nova, Director of Banana Fana Preschool.
Banana Fana Preschool, founded by Gloria Morales Nova, is a Spanish-Immersion, play-based preschool, located in Park Merced, San Francisco. The school interweaves Latin American culture in the curriculum, with themes like “Discover El Salvador,” where kids experience the foods, music, and art of various Latin American countries.
The challenges of starting my own preschool
I wanted to open up a preschool for my son because I couldn’t find a preschool that captured my eye for Isaiah. I was originally going to start working at another preschool where I would have had the flexibility of bringing Isaiah with me.
But when I met Vanessa, another Wonderschool Director, she said, “Why don’t you open up one yourself?” I was living in a studio at my mother’s house and there wasn’t any way to do it. With the help of Wonderschool, I decided to go for it and look for a new home where I could start my own program.
I definitely knew I needed help with the business aspects of running a school. There are so many hats to put on when you open up your own preschool: director, business owner, teacher, and it can be really stressful!
“It’s really nice that I’m not alone.”
The relationship I have with the Wonderschool team members has been priceless. Chris has been very available, very attentive, and very quick to respond. Whether I have questions about payroll, my website, parents, Children’s Council, or anything, he’s available. It shows me that our partnership is really valued. It’s like I have a security blanket. It’s really nice that I’m not alone.
It has also been a great opportunity to be in network with other directors who are going through the same experiences as me.
For instance, Devon has a daughter as well who attends her preschool and was going through the same thing with tantrums. It really helped knowing that I’m not alone in that. We can talk about it and give each other advice and reassurance that everything is going to be okay.
I’ve been talking to Kristina, one of the newest teachers and helping her out too. Having this support helps you feel like you can still do this, especially during times when you’re just thinking, “What am I doing?”
The benefits of running my own preschool
I’m happy that my school filled so quickly and I’ve been very blessed with a great set of kids!
There’s a lot of love in my classroom, and I do think that has to do with how I teach, I show them a lot of love but also firmness.
I also knew the income would be decent compared to other jobs, but I’m making more now than I did before and get to stay home with my son.
The future of Banana Fana Preschool
I almost didn’t join Wonderschool! My friends kept telling me I could do it on my own, but I can tell you now that I am very grateful that I made the decision to partner.
I’m excited to continue this partnership and grow. My goal in the next 1-2 years is to become a “large” (a large child care has a capacity of 12 students versus 6 in a small child care). In the next 5 years, my goal is to launch a second Banana Fana Preschool. I’m not sure how I will do this, but I know One Preschool can help me make that happen.