Originally from Columbus Ohio, I've worked in childcare-related fields for around 10 years. First, it was watching the neighbor's girls while she ran to the store, then it evolved into teaching children's theatre and working at an all-girls summer camp, working as a dance instructor at a bilingual elementary school, tutoring kids in math and reading, and finally, back to babysitting.
I moved to NYC in 2012 to study theatre at NYU, and have since earned my BFA. During my time at NYU, I worked as an education intern at TADA! Youth Theater, and was later promoted to teaching artist. TADA! turned out to be the perfect environment for me, since it combined two things I'm extremely passionate about: theatre, and working with kids.
For the past several years, babysitting has been my main job, as I have yet to find anything as fun or rewarding as working with kids. While I still pursue creative projects and writing my own material, my work with kids is still very important to me. I eased myself back into babysitting by starting with date nights, and it basically just snowballed from there. Pretty soon, I had three different after-school families and too many date-night families to count!
I have had the most experience with school-age children, around the ages of 5-11. This the area I feel most skilled because I'm able to be silly and goofy with them, but I am most definitely still an adult authority figure. As a teaching artist at TADA!, I've taught anywhere from ages 3-16, so I have experience with pretty much any age, but elementary school is where I feel I excel.
The best part about working with kids is the knowledge that you're making a positive impact on the child's life. Working at a summer camp, I get to form very tight bonds with the campers for a few weeks every year, and then they leave and we don't see each other for a whole year. It's only once the girls come back do you realize not only how much you've missed them, but how much they've missed you! These kids will tackle their counselors with hugs literally every time they catch sight of them. It's moments like those when I am able to comprehend just how much of an impact I'm able to make to these kids simply by loving them and supporting them as best I can.
My philosophy when it comes to taking care of kids is to promote independence. The best relationships I've had with campers and with kids I babysit are when I'm able to trust them to follow instructions, whatever those instructions may be. At camp, we allow kids as young as 7 years old to follow their own schedule and navigate camp by themselves. It's really demonstrated to me that kids are quite capable of doing things for themselves, as long as you trust them to get it done.
What I hope to instill in any child I work with is a more positive outlook on things. It's so easy to become negative and skeptical, but it's hard work to be optimistic. No matter what the situation, I believe there is always a way to look on the bright side, and it's a skill that requires a lot of practice. It has served me well in life to always be positive, and I want to pass that on and help others do the same.