Hi, I'm Ms.Tamar!

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.

Hi, I'm Melissa!

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!

Hi, I'm Ms Ourania

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.

Hi, I'm Madelyn

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

Hi, I'm Colleen

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.

Hi, I'm Claudia!

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.


Hi, I'm Aviva!

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.

Hi, I'm Steph!

"  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.

Hi, I'm William!

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. 

Hi, I'm Ms Tope!

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.

Hi, I'm Mr. Carreno!

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. 

Hi, I'm Kat!

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. 

Hi, I'm Vishma!

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! 

Hi, I'm Lisa!

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.

Hi, I'm Suzanne!

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. 

Hi, I'm Dia!

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. 

Manisha Snoyerdia, Brooklyn
Hi, I'm Miss Tara!

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.