Tell us a little bit about yourself: I have been teaching young children for the past 11 years in Brooklyn and in Prospect Park. My training and inspiration comes directly from Waldorf/Steiner pedagogy, this combined with a deep love of nature has lead me to embrace the Forest School model. The natural world is a vast and nourishing venue for children to discover, learn, and cultivate a sense of wonder, in order to inspire questions and a deeper curiosity about one's environment. I believe that imagination and resourcefulness are compelling and necessary partners for play and exploration and I aim to create the best possible environment for these qualities to develop for the children.
Melissa has been teaching sewing and fashion design for four years, and practicing the craft for over 15 years. She has a number of students she works with in group and private formats. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in creative writing, and attend sewing and design classes from time to time, such as a Fashion Design class at Parsons. Her students have created amazing designs that they actually wear, as well as toys and doll clothes. Her favorite part of teaching is the end of the year, when she puts on a Fashion Show for the kids!
I completed my Waldorf teacher training in Germany in 2011. After full time rearing my daughter I started teaching in 2015 at various schools of the greater NYC area as a teaching Artist, Art teacher, Grade assistant and in Early Childhood. I believe in the the importance of play and routine. My classes are built to cultivate rhythms, transitions, and the cycle of the year while experiencing circle time activities and lessons in handwork, art, and movement.
I am 24 years old and I live in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. I grew up just outside of Baltimore and I enjoy hiking, taking people on nature walks, practicing/teaching yoga, and traveling.
Outside of being one of the co-directors at Cottonwood, I have formal training as a Naturalist/Nature Educator. I am pursuing RIE certification after having completed the rigorous RIE Foundations course in 2016. I came to democratic education seeking to learn about innovative systems of learning and this curiosity brought me to Cottonwood!
Education: I graduated Washington College in Chestertown, MD with honors and bachelor's degrees in English and Environmental Science
I am committed to every child learning to read and write - despite background, language, or need.
I listen to your school goals; deliver responsive, engaging training and support thoughtful implementation of Read Write Inc. I have successfully trained hundreds of elementary schools across Australia, England, Mexico, Scotland, the UAE and the USA to outstanding outcomes for children.
With a decade of teaching experience, I've taught in Saint Louis, Brooklyn, and London. Serving children as a teacher, school leader, and now trainer I am passionate about supporting children and teachers until every child can read.
When I first started teaching children in New York City, 16 years ago, I was introduced to the Reggio Emilia teaching philosophy, a simple and yet revolutionary concept: it has shaped my classes ever since. With that in mind and with over 25 years of body-work experience, I incorporate movement, game playing, visual and tactile identification of objects, book reading and story telling, as well as modern and traditional Italian songs. Through the creation of simple projects I encourage children to use their imagination and have fun.
Born into a family of activists, Aviva works on issues of Housing, Immigrant Rights, and Structural Racism. Aviva currently works at Brooklyn Apple Academy and Riverside Montessori. She works with Sanctuary in the Streets, a group formed to create networks and spaces that protect families during ICE raids and related court dates. She has done the Teachers Training at University of Rhode Island for the Kingian Nonviolence Curriculum. She teaches an after school puppetry class at Brooklyn Apple, and works with puppetry collectives Bread and Puppet based in Glover Vermont, and Papel Machete based in San Juan Puerto as well as Looking Glass Productions in New York.
" I have a lot of experience working with infants and toddlers. I have been taking care of twins. I put them down for naps, feed them, change their diapers, bath them, go for walks, play, cook, potty train, and teaching them Spanish. I love working with babies and toddlers, because since they are born they are willing to discover the world. Their curiosity makes them want to explore everything and i'm willing to guide them through their learning experiences, helping them to develop their skill and keep their curiosity and interest in the world. "
I am founder of Dida Academy, education startup promoting self-directed, project-based learning. I am a educator with 8+ years experience in New York City and Chicago high schools. I have taught English language arts, public speaking, drama, citizenship, and physical education--all-rooted in community-building and self-reflection. To support social-emotional development, I have developed a backlog of improv-based exercises for individuals and groups. My mother taught me that “it is a privilege to work with youth,” and I whole-heartedly agree.
I have been teaching in a pre-school in my home country where I have helped developed and implemented curriculum that has helped integrate children in a school environment through gainful play, material exploration and self chosen activities. I believe when children are given opportunities to explore, play and build up on their sensitivities, it brings out their creativity and desire for life-long learning, which would be the primary style of teaching I would inculcate.
I began a career in teaching long before I became a teacher. More formally, I've taught in elementary classrooms, public and private schools, as well as an abundance of community-based programs that I have composed and directed. As a father to two young and school-aged children, creating a learning environment and helping to carve a path for independent, progressive, and hands-on learning is a privilege and an honor. I am incredibly excited to offer children a learning experience that will help ignite new interests while strengthening ones that they already embody.
I am Montessori and Early Childhood teacher in Brooklyn. I began my teaching career in the dance studio, where I taught dance to hundreds of children over the years. I realized that I wanted to work with children in a more in-depth way, so I studied Montessori basics at Washington Montessori Institute in Baltimore. I moved to NYC in 2013, and went to West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program for my Early Childhood credential. I received my MEd in Early Childhood Special Education from Concordia College.
French has been my passion for the past 20 years. I have taught at every level of the school system - preschool, elementary school, high school and adults. I enjoy working with children and sharing my passion for French and for learning. I believe that "to influence the life of a child is to alter the course of history". I currently teach at a French Immersion preschool in Brooklyn, but this coming summer, I'm looking to begin my very own French Playgroup!
My first experience working with young children was as a babysitter and nanny, then as a camp counselor. Soon I found myself working in a small playgroup in Brooklyn. While working there I was given a copy of Maria Montessori's biography, shortly after reading it applied and was accepted to Montessori Northwest in Portland, OR where I completed my AMI primary training. This was a highlight of my life and I have been joyfully guiding children in beautifully prepared Montessori environments for the past 4 years. I also have a Bachelors Degree in Art from Hunter College and a Master's Degree in Education from Loyola University.
I’ve been leading Story Time groups all over New York City for children 0-4 years old for over sixteen years. We read fun stories with themes and then talk about them, sometimes we act the stories out or I lead the group in putting on puppet shows or singing and playing musical instruments. In my groups I let children be children, and I let children be artists because that’s what they are. All of them. My talent as a teacher is my ability to make them feel comfortable enough to express themselves. I create a space where I’m not on top of them all the time, where they can expand and grow. I talk to children on their level. I become a child myself.
I'm a versatile artist and experienced educator, who has been making awesome stuff with kids all across the country since 2002. Curiosity and a simple drive to make things has guided my studies in diverse fields from welding to writing , from theatre to computer science. I've worked as a teacher, a puppeteer, and in freelance video production and animation, and I have a B.A. from Hampshire College in Interdisciplinary Art. I've also had the opportunity to learn from Wil Vinton, grandmaster of stop motion (of California Raisins fame!). I also work now with RoboFun, teaching coding and robotics. I enjoy playing at the edge of art and science, and just playing in general.
Hello. I am currently 3/4 into achieving a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, from Brooklyn College. I hold both a BFA and MFA in Fine Art/Printmaking. I have taught art to children of all ages over many years through community based organizations. I grew-up in NYC and attended The Rudolf Steiner School. My philosophies embrace those of Waldorf, Reggio Emilia and Montessori. I am committed to teaching the whole child through providing comfort, safety and experiences that feed the mind and develop the senses.
I see myself as a big kid. That big kid in me loves interacting with other kids, regardless of how old they are. I have performed and taught kids for the past 8 years. It is always a joy to see smiles after a show/class. I believe that children are natural actors and creators. It is my pleasure to help break down inhibitions and draw that out of them .
I've been drawing, painting and creating since age 6. My journey of discovery and knowledge is always fueled with new and exciting materials, techniques and mediums. Teaching what I learn and helping others understand is rewarding. Being a source of inspiration enlightens me and keeps me on a good path.
I have been a Waldorf teacher for the past twelve years and delight in allowing a child to grow at their own pace. I believe that children should be guided with loving care, and be allowed to develop as they need to while gently encouraging them to explore the world. Being in nature allows a child to simply 'be'. They can explore their senses and their movements naturally outdoors. This is where the beauty of the young child can be seen and magic happen.
I am a self taught crafter. I began crafting fabric baskets using scraps of fabric i would find at local tailors. I see every discarded item as something i can use to recreate into a functional piece of art, clothing jewelry etc. I taught a middle school group for the school year of 2015-2016. I currently work as a daycare teacher at Maple Street school where we love creating art and learning that it is process and not product! I love working and learning from children and most of my learning also comes from their creativity. I am a firm believer in process and not product. Everything a child creates is beautiful and once they can see the beauty in what they have made, I know we have begun!
My philosophy is that a mutual respect is required for a classroom to function at its optimal level. One of the things I used to do for the Continuing Studies program would be to sit with children who were pulled out of class for behavioral problems. We would often sit together quietly as the child would reflect. Sometimes the child would draw in their sketchbook. Often, after about 5 minutes or so the child would be allowed to return to class. I found this to be an effective way of isolating a problem in a constructive and fair way. I also believe that talking with the child in a respectful tone could help build trust and mitigate behavioral problems.
I am an educator, child life specialist, social worker and writer, whose passion is anything that supports children’s development and healing in the face of everyday life or trauma. I specialize in helping children and families cope with hospitalization, loss and developmental challenges. My mission is to promote open-ended, child-centered play in hospitals, schools and at home. I consult with teachers, hospital personnel and parents to provide meaningful and therapeutic play experiences for children and adults. I have been teaching grad students in education and child life for 15 years, Prior to that, I was a child life specialist and a teacher. I have years of accumulated knowledge and passion that I wish to share with parents about the value of child-centered open-ended play and the skills to facilitate it. I have published many articles on the topic of children and play. My publications are listed on www.debvilas.com.
I've been coaching and educating children for over 8 years and am excited to share my experience with the children of NYC. Soccer Shots provides a caring environment on and off the field by positively impacting the children through our best in class coaching, curriculum and communication. By enrolling your child in Soccer Shots, you can expect increased psychomotor development in fun fitness activities, introductions to team dynamics, character formation through life lessons of respect, sharing, development of active lifestyle habits, and individual skill development including coordination, balance and agility. Our mission is simple: Positively impact children's lives.
I grew up in Finland, and have lived in New York for 4 years. Early education in Finland is highly play-based, and being the product of the system myself has really helped me see the importance of the time and space for play. I consider the natural curiosity of children a major tool in learning, of which we should take maximum advantage. Children in my class will be trusted to take responsibility of their own learning as much as they are ready for. What I find important in a classroom is communicating the importance of a respectful, warm community, where we build each other up. My goal is educating mindful individuals who take others into consideration and are confident in solving problems on their own. Learning through play is what I genuinely enjoy, and am drawn to in a classroom. I like to dive in play with the children to learn about them and seek teachable moments. Some of my personal passions are reading, cooking, art, playing guitar and singing!
I have been involved in education professionally for 14 years. I taught Special Education grades 3-6 in the South Bronx as a corps member for Teach for America, I worked for Montana's State Department of Education for 5 years and since moving to NYC I've worked for myself as an Education Consultant. I have a Bachelor of Science in Learning and Organizational Change and a Masters of Science in Education. Credentials aside, I LOVE to curate environments that lead our kids to draw conclusions and make discoveries! I founded the Cottonwood Co-op 2 1/2 years ago having finally found my true calling: play!
Susan Weissman, Advisor at CottageClass, is an educator and parent. She began teaching in 1994, and has since worked with diverse groups of students, built curriculum, and mentored fellow teachers. After one of her children was born with a life threatening medical condition, Susan wrote a memoir depicting the collective story of parenting with medical challenges. As a part-time advocate and author, she teaches about food allergy safety and management. Susan offers her class to CottageClass teachers so our students can stay safe in school.
Sarah has co-owned and managed the Abode Farm CSA in upstate New York for the past five years and is a director of the Mall of Found archive and artist residency program. A graduate from Hampshire College with a degree in ethnography, sustainable agriculture, and critical pedagogy, Sarah is devoted to combining her passion for nature, social-justice, and the arts in education. She has worked as an educator in Waldorf programs, community gardens, farms, and public schools. The desire to cultivate a connection between children and the natural world through experiential and creative acts is at the heart of her work.
I presently co-supervise a mixed-age aftercare group at an Upper East Side school, and work as a substitute teacher mostly for kindergarten and nursery age groups. My past experience working with children includes my volunteership with the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center, where I helped with various educational programs and enjoyed helping children learn to care for and appreciate the natural world, my years as a faculty member for Kaplan Test Prep, where I conducted practice exams and gave students constructive feedback and guidance for essay writing, and an internship with a Lower East Side gallery/arts education center which held workshops for children.