My name is Tess Chapin and I am a multi-faceted childcare provider and NYC native that grew up in Long Island City, Queens. I am the older sister to one younger brother, and he is one of my best friends. My family also has two beloved cats! For my K-12 education, I had the privilege of attending progressive and acclaimed public schools in different neighborhoods of Manhattan. I graduated from State University of New York at New Paltz in 2016 with a BA in International Relations. During my undergrad years, I studied abroad in both Turkey and Kazakhstan, reflecting my interest in contemporary Eurasia. After working as a fulltime nanny in NYC for two years, in 2018 I transitioned back into the academic world and earned a post-Graduate diploma in Russian and Eurasian Studies from the University of Glasgow, during which I focused my studies on matters of gendered experiences belonging to generations of Central Asian women who grew up during the Soviet period versus the post-Soviet period and how the political/cultural backdrop impacted variations in their life perspectives. In the fall, I am slated to begin part-time course work for a MA in Women and Gender Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, a program I am extremely excited to be involved with!
I have been working with children since I was 13, when I got my first job at a daycare center owned by a neighbor. In the dozen plus years since then, I have remained involved in childcare in many capacities. Working with children is an important part of my life and something I enjoy immensely. I have worked as a nanny, mother’s helper, babysitter, camp counselor, and English language teacher, helping me to develop a diverse set of skills and breadth of experience that makes me the highly capable caregiver I am today. Some positions I have held over the years include a part time nanny position for a family of two siblings I held through high school and into college; my responsibilities included school pick up, transportation to and from lessons/activities/appointments, general errand running for the family, cooking meals, bedtime routines, help with homework, and more. From 2014-2016, I worked for a handful of families in the New Paltz area in a part time capacity; one position fell into the category of family assistant as my responsibilities included grocery shopping and housekeeping in addition to watching two children, while the others were mostly focused on occasional date night sitting and afterschool pick-ups.
In 2016, I began a position working for a family with two daughters, ages 6 and 9 at the time of hire. This position was typically 3-8 covering the afterschool and evening times but was full time when school wasn’t in session, including some periods of live-in childcare in the Hamptons. My responsibilities included school pick up, transportation to and from lessons/activities/appointments, organizing playdates, care for the family dog, general errand running for the family, cooking meals, bedtime routines, help with homework and planning fun and appropriate activities. My most recent long-term position was in the summer of 2019, when I was hired as a full-time live-in nanny for a family with two children, ages 11 and 13 at time of hire. This position was located mostly in the Hamptons and took place in a fully staffed home, where as the nanny, I liaised with the other staff and the principals to organize the children’s schedule and wellbeing. In this position, I had full charge of the children as the parents were often in the city during the week. I coordinated their schedule, transported the kids to and from appointments/activities, helped with the completion of summer homework assignments, planned fun summer activities, upheld instruction from the parents in their absence, and more. I’ve been in a lot of different situations over the years in my childcare roles, and each unique job I’ve held has contributed to the well of knowledge within me that informs my abilities as a childcare professional. I take pride in these abilities and look forward to continuing to use and develop them as time goes on. When faced with a challenge, I can rely on my past experiences to help me move forward.
Internationally, I have diverse childcare experienes.. Due to my academic interests, I have spent long periods of time in Central Asia, during which I have been involved with the local community of children. In 2016, I volunteered at an orphanage in Astana, Kazakhstan, spending time with the children, ages 0-5, that lived in the home. During the summer of 2017 At the American University of Central Asia, located in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, I worked in a summer English camp for kids ages 5-13, helping with language instruction teaching. In the fall of 2019, I worked at the American Space Almaty, a community center located in Almaty, Kazakhstan, that is funded by the US Consulate and focuses on English language programming for young adults. I designed and taught a course about short form writing to a group of students ages 14-20, informed by my experiences as a published free-lance writer. In addition to the writing course, I facilitated an English Speaking club and gave an informative presentation to commemorate the International Day Against Violence Against Women, both of which engaged an audience of teenagers. In these roles I spoke mostly English, however at times spoke Russian when needed.
Having grown up in NYC myself, I am intimately familiar with the complexities of coming of age in an environment like this one. It is a unique environment that can be both challenging and rewarding when it comes to children; there are special concerns but also special opportunities for experiences you cannot find elsewhere. On a personal level, I think that working with children is one of the most worthy and important jobs you can have. Children are our future, and by working with them, I am able to inform and influence a next generation. I strive to be the role model I could have used when I was a child; someone to show you how to accept yourself no matter what, celebrate the things that make you different, and develop an outlook that rests heavily upon the tenants of empathy, kindness, and understanding for all. I consider myself to be a great influence on children, especially adolescents, and greatly value the opportunity to play a role in the development of someone’s world view. I lead by example, using everyday experiences to open dialogues about the world around us. It is not easy growing up in this crazy world, but with the right people to provide guidance and care, it can be a beautiful process. I am a quick and nimble thinker that is highly adaptable to the inconsistent world of children, striving to always exercise my best judgement when it is needed. I thrive in fast moving and collaborative work environments and greatly enjoy a job that will engage me in multiple ways. Growing up can be hard sometimes, but with the right people there to provide safe boundaries, a welcoming and open environment, and more, it can be navigated (relatively) easily. I look forward to finding a new position working with a wonderful family in the NYC area!