I’ve loved working with children of all ages since high school, when my then piano teacher asked me to teach a group of new piano students between 5 to 6 years old. Initially nervous, I was surprised at how natural and intuitive it was for me to work with students. What struck me about that experience – and every babysitting, teaching, and volunteering experience since then – is how energizing and connective it is to work with kids.
Since then, I’ve always sought out ways to work with and nurture children. In high school, I continued to teach piano lessons, eventually being entrusted to babysit the students I worked with. While in college, I volunteered in an after-school arts program and created visual arts lessons for elementary school students.
Children possess a natural, uninhibited sense of joy and wonder at the world, and I believe in nurturing those qualities while also providing a safe space for them to grow and be themselves. I place a high premium on kindness and and compassion while balancing that with good intuition and savvy in this hectic city. At its essence, babysitting has allowed me to partake in connective experiences – whether that is cooking a meal for a child, reading a book with them, teaching them piano, or exploring a work of art with them. And it is through these connective experiences that I find joy and delight in the world.
I will be SmartSitting while...
Planning and executing elaborate dinner parties for my friends. Reading and writing in cozy cafés in Soho or the West Village. Taking long walks up, down, and through Manhattan. Trying to learn basketball. Attending readings and panels at the Housing Works on Crosby Street. Volunteering with Reading Partners (a not-for-profit that places volunteers with students to instill in them a lifelong love of reading) at an elementary school in the Lower East Side. Perusing recipes on Smitten Kitchen, The First Mess (a vegan/vegetarian cooking site), or Maangchi (a Korean food cooking site).
In 5 years, I hope to be...
Still living in this vibrant, multitudinous city connecting with others through education, through writing, through child care!
Activities & skills I love to teach & share with children...
I volunteer with an organization that is all about reading – teaching children how to read and thereby instilling a love of reading in them. Reading is one of the first ways that a child connects with the world outside themselves. It is not only a fundamental and necessary skill but a truly joyous one.
While growing up, I played the piano, flute, cello, trombone, and trumpet both on my own and with various bands and orchestras. I love translating my musical experience to teaching children about music, whether it's with a physical instrument, or just pointing out to them nuances in rhythm, syncopation, or tone. Music is, more than any other art form, a universal language. When a child develops a love of music, it is one that stays for a lifetime.
I was an Art History major at the University of Chicago, which allowed me to further develop my knowledge of the visual arts. I spent a lot of time in museums or galleries with works of art – an experience that I think is increasingly devalued in our society, but one that teaches us so much about other cultures or points of view. Sharing my passion for the visual arts, I spent two years teaching and developing the curricula for an after school visual arts program in Chicago. Children are exceptionally insightful (and hilarious!) creators and critics of art, and I love nurturing them to question what they see, create according to their whims, and ponder bigger questions.