Hi! My name is Emilie Hilgers and I am the owner of Creative Bridges. I am profoundly curious, enjoy laughing, and have loads of compassion. My education is in Early Childhood Special Education and I have held various roles with children for over 30+ years in five different states. I held two roles at Head Start including teacher and supervising teacher. While upholding the performance standards as well as licensing rules and regulation, I also enjoyed often being the only English speaking person in the classroom. I learned that I was both teacher and student when a 4 year old would be my translator for the day. It was fun and rewarding to learn by immersion into the different cultures in the various states. I firmly believe that the parent is the child's first teacher and to work alongside the parent, not exclude the parent. I view parents as my coworkers. I was able to teach neurodiverse children in two very distinct philosophies; one being at Minneapolis Children's Medical Center and the other bring North Carolina Public Schools. I spent years doing respite care for medically fragile, neurodiverse, physically challenged and intellectually disabled children in the home and community. I have taught school aged children who had severe and profound disabilities. I learned that caring requires so much love, compassion and intricate knowledge involving not only education but medical issues that are quite important. It was in teaching these children that I began to really understand the concept of the whole child.
When my son was a preschooler, I found a farm that I knew I would flourish on when his friend visited on a field trip. Outdoor education was an area I had not explored yet in my career. I became a teacher and then a director on this outdoor, magical farm known as Sunflower Farm in Longmont. That farm opened my eyes to the possibility of non traditional education. I saw kids thrive (along with my son) that elsewhere they were not. I loved teaching without walls in all kinds of weather. It reminded me of how I played in Minnesota in my younger years and I feel so lucky that I was able to enjoy that part of me with my son.
When the education system wasn't helping my son thrive, I began to delve even deeper into non traditional programming. I learned how to work with the public school system to fit each child's unique needs as my relationship with the homeschool community flourished. I became extremely curious when I learned that school is optional and spent around 8 years exploring this idea when I opened Creative Bridges as a Self Directed Learning Center for children ages 5-16. At that point, I had limited experience with children over the age of 8, but the children came and we learned, and we made mistakes. It was through these kids that I learned how important allowing space for mistakes is. Once that idea took hold, mistakes became humor and learning became natural. I watched young people thrive without school and again, they taught me to think even more outside the box. I knew learning was natural and school was optional.
My son went to college, and I lost my lease for the self directed learning center at which point I made the decision to move to Longmont to become the Director of Education at Sunflower Farm. We served both traditional and non traditional families which is what I loved most about the farm. It became a melting pot of all different types of families. Some families enjoy the traditional route and their kids thrive. Some families are unschooling families and their children thrive. I thoughouly loved my return back to the farm and my relationships there, but I was missing direct contact with children.
As an educator, I am constantly looking for ways to reach individual children, and help families with various situations. During Covid I began exploring astrology and quickly found it as an avenue to help myself, and then realized the impact this could have on children and their families. Finally I found a tool, a map if you will, for how to help each individual child. I enrolled in Debra Silvermans' School of Applied Astrology and quickly began to adapt the material for preschool level children and their parents. The natal chart, which is the position of the planets at the time of birth, is each persons curriculum while here on earth. I studied my own chart for months and made the decision to leave the farm and do the work I am meant to do. I realized I enjoy creating my own schedule, that I work in bursts of energy and not a 9-5 person and that I am supposed to follow a unique career path. It is my role on this earth to share information and that I am fed by learning and communicating (Gemini sun), that I enjoy freedom, I have unique perspectives, and I have great observation skills (Aquarius moon), and that I will reach far below the obvious into the unknown territory of a situation and talk about it, trust it, and use it for transformation (Scorpio Rising).
Thanks for reading and I hope to meet you very soon!