I am a mother of two older teenagers (a college freshman son and a high school senior daughter), so I know how difficult raising children can be. When my youngest first entered school full time, I became a post-partum doula. I understood the hardships a new parent faced and was happy to ease the load. I shared the wisdom gained from my own experiences as a mom and helped parents navigate through the overwhelming needs of babies. As a doula I gained extensive experience in all things relevant to infant care.
At the same time, I was also very involved in my kids’ school. I participated in many activities with the goal of not only raising funds but building community. As a volunteer classroom tutor and monthly ceramics instructor, I became a familiar presence in the building. In 2004 I collaborated with a dream team of parents to produce the school’s first annual Williamsburg Kite Festival. I’m proud to say that this event, which was originally held in McCarren Park, grew into a beloved celebration that was attended by thousands.
It was a natural progression for me to become a substitute teacher in the school. I taught Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth grade, using my skills as an artist and writer to engage my students. I calmly dealt with a wide range of situations that included unexpected illnesses and behavioral issues. My disciplining approach is firm, but calm and positive. Raising our voices to children only serves to shut them down.
We as adults are our children’s springboards, and we’re also their nets. We teach, encourage, and catch them over and over again, day after day. I love this process. I love watching them become empowered and confident human beings through play, books, art, and conversation. I eventually settled on child care work as a profession because this is where I believe I am most effective. Children love me for my gentle but fun personality, and because they know that I truly value them for who they are. Ultimately, I hope that my presence in their lives not only builds their own self-esteem, but cultivates a genuine sense of empathy and respect for those around them.