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The Many Hats of a Preschool Aide

Sleep Number

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Kelli Holthe’s unofficial job description includes “ninja skills and magician skills,” and endless patience. Her job: working as a preschool aide. We recently caught up with her by phone, from her home in Iowa, to chat about her daily routine, how sleep helps her recharge, and why she says her Sleep Number bed is their single best purchase ever.


Tell us a bit about your job. You work with preschoolers? 

Yes, I’m an aide. It’s actually called “Begindergarten”—it’s five-year-olds who have end-of-the-summer birthdays, so they’re very young and they get an extra year. I help kids with all of their learning and social skills and emotional development. 


My teacher and I have been coming up with a fake resume—ninja skills, magician skills. We wear a lot of hats! Our day goes everywhere from ecstatic, out-of-control laughter to kids crying because you told them they had to pick up and they don’t want to. Really, our main focus is helping kids learn self-control—control their emotions, control their bodies, control their behavior. It’s awesome—it’s exhausting, but super fun.


Okay, let’s hear about the fun part. 

A lot of our kids come to us not even knowing the difference between a number and a letter, and by the middle of the year, we’re working with them on writing short sentences and learning letter sounds, so that when they come into kindergarten, they’re ready to go. Kids get really excited about learning how to count and learning letter sounds, which is very fun and rewarding. 


It sounds like you need to be really alert in your job.

Yes. You have to be on your toes from the second you walk in the door. If I’ve been traveling [over the weekend] and not sleeping in my own bed, Monday morning is a little rough. If you’re not wide awake, they will eat you alive. Kids are clever! And they can tell when you’re tired. It’s also a very physical job—you’re up and down all day long, tying shoes and all sorts of things. I sit for a few minutes here and there, but that’s about it. 


How long have you had a Sleep Number bed?

We got ours in January of 2012. It’s been quite a while. We were both sleeping terribly on our old bed, and we’d heard about Sleep Number, and then we walked by the store at the mall and decided to give it a try. We will both tell you it’s our single best purchase ever, just because of the ability to change it. My husband, Jon, has a bad back and I have a really bad neck. Knowing that we can adjust it is really nice. 


If you could sleep anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Bailey, Colorado. It’s a teeny-tiny town southwest of Denver, in the mountains. There’s a camp where we worked before we got married, and we love that place. 


And finally…What is your Sleep Number setting?

Mine is usually between 35 and 40. Jon’s is 45 but it can jump a lot, depending on what his back is doing. 


Want even better sleep? Sleepers who routinely use their Sleep Number 360® smart bed features and SleepIQ® technology get almost 100 hours more proven quality sleep per year.*


Like diet and exercise, quality sleep has a profound impact on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Because no two people sleep the same, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably and provide proven quality sleep. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night's sleep, and if you own a Sleep Number® bed, log in to your InnerCircle℠ Rewards account to see your exclusive offers, refer friends and more.


*Based on internal analysis of sleep sessions assessing sleepers who use multiple features of Sleep Number® products. Claim based on sleepers achieving over 15 more minutes of restful sleep per sleep sessions.

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