Literacy and working with children have always been my greatest passions. As a Bard student, I nannied for a professor’s family for four years. When I began with the family, their youngest was just one month old, their middle child was three, and their oldest was eight. I also majored in writing and literature, and it was no surprise that when I became a teacher, reading was my favorite subject to teach.
I started my teaching career as a 2012 Louisiana Delta corps member through Teach for America. I was part of the founding group of teachers sent to the Northeast corner of Louisiana, where I taught in the least populated parish. This region is one of the lowest performing in the entire country. I taught self-contained third grade for two years, and garnered the highest scores in the district in both reading and math. The relationships I forged with my kids are invaluable to me, and I always made sure that the environment in my classroom fostered both learning and socio-emotional growth.
In my third year of teaching, I became a founding lead Kindergarten teacher at Life Academy – A KIPP School in Newark, New Jersey. After teaching in district schools for two years with very little support, I was eager to experience the opposite end of the spectrum and teach in a high performing charter school. Here, I received extensive development in all aspects of my teaching. I also had the unique experience of opening a school, developing other teachers, planning curriculum, and coordinating special events. Our focus in our founding year was literacy. A majority of my students started the year with no knowledge of letter names or letter sounds. By, the end of their Kindergarten year, 82% of my class was reading—not on an end of Kindergarten level—but, on a first grade level or above.
It was with a heavy heart that I chose to leave my job as a classroom teacher in order to return to school to get an MFA. Anyone who has been a teacher knows that the profound love you feel for your students, and bearing witness to their growth as learners and individuals is an immeasurable, unmatchable feeling. Columbia University offered me an incredibly rare and generous scholarship, and I was able to pursue a lifelong dream. During my studies, I was able to also hold a full-time position planning large and small community events for Green Ivy Schools. I got to plan curriculum, hire teachers and staff, and run all operations during these events. It was important to me that I continued to work with children while pursuing an MFA.
My passion is literacy. This passion has many facets; those relating to my own education, and those relating to the education of others. As a nanny, I hope to build strong relationships with children, foster their love of literacy, and afford myself the ability to engage with literature.