Being an educator is not for the faint of heart. It is filled with unimaginable stress, but it is also filled with magical moments. These moments where the teacher can see the children grow not only academically, but emotionally. Cheryl Meyer knows this all too well. She works as a paraprofessional at Joseph Block Middle School in East Chicago, Ind., and as a performer for a company called Once Upon a Princess. Meyer combines both of these passions to bring to life magical experiences for children. Her favorite place to take on her role as a princess is for school events.
“I do a lot of birthday parties and events, and one of the biggest things that means a lot to me is to give back to my school district. I try to make appearances as different characters that they know at big school district events, so that they can get that Disney experience.”
Becoming a princess is hard work. Meyer and other performers at Once Upon a Princess have to think about costumes, make-up, hair, mannerisms, and much more. For Meyer, it is about embodying famous fictional characters and creating an unforgettable moment for the kids. Meyer wants kids to see that magic is always possible, no matter how old we are.
“The smiles, the hugs are the absolute best part. When you have a kid who’s the perfect age and they fully believe everything I am putting out there and they are so into it.”
It’s clear through Meyer’s work that the childlike wonder that we all carry with us as children has never left her. When she works with her students at school, she works on their level, sometimes using sweet treat to motive and inspire, especially in Math class. Meyer’s ability to bond with kids is what makes her a wonderful performer and paraprofessional. From an early age, Meyer knew she wanted two work with children.
“I loved being around kids because kids are so fun, and they have such interesting stories to tell. They always have something to say,” she said.
Meyer enjoys anything Disney, loves Harry Potter, and enjoys watching Marvel films. She also is finishing her undergraduate program for education.
“I love what I do, and I am glad that I have an opportunity to give that magic moment to kids who are never going to experience it otherwise. It’s one thing that I am very passionate about, trying to spread the magic to as many kids as possible and in as many ways possible.”