Hi, I'm Sara!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. 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!
In your opinion, what is the role of the live teacher in a world where it is becoming increasingly easy to get access to information through the internet and online courses? Curiosity is innate. That is why it is our job as parents, educators, and community members to foster each child's curiosity. I see my role, not as teacher , but as an educational curator. Everyday I curate an environment that leads our kids to draw conclusions and make discoveries. This happens through indoor and outdoor play, conversations about books we read and open ended science and arts projects. Empowering the curiosity of each child without confining it by systems is a role I take seriously. As a curator, I get to set the stage for the children's own discovery. With technology at our fingertips, facilitation and curation is the new role of the educator.
What is your philosophy on and approach to behavioral management? Kids are people too! This is at the heart of the way we interact with one another at Cottonwood. Call it democratic, call it culture creation, we build a collaborative, respectful environment. Embedding values and behavirors into the culture allows us to operate without an oppressive number of rules or overbearing structure. When the created culture becomes the new norm, the need to manipulate others’ behavior through punishments, incentives, or rewards is diminished. Because everyone is participating in the culture creation, everyone is invested in supporting it.
Credentials: Master's of Science in Education, Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Policy, CPR certified