Hi, I'm Suzanne!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. 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.
Who was your favorite teacher and why? I had this teacher named Mrs. House who taught me Russian History my sophomore year of high school. She wrote on the board in her own unique way. She did everything her own way and it got my attention. She was very enthusiastic and enthusiasm is contagious. She made me excited about something I never thought I’ve be excited about in a million years. She knew how to get a fifteen year olds attention. She made the people in Russian history feel like real people who had real lives.
Share a teaching memory that had a profound impact on you. "I was reading a story to a group of toddlers and all of the sudden a two year student of mine named Ivy got up, stood in front of the whole group and started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Everybody was spellbound. I was so happy that she felt comfortable enough to do that and we talked about it after she did it. I said it was so great that Ivy came up and expressed herself like that. I didn’t ignore it. I talked about it to the kids, I asked “why did you want to start singing Ivy?”. She didn’t know and that was okay. Then we all sang it together and talked about the song and what it means to us, and that we’re all stars, and that we come from stars, and then we all talked about our favorite songs.
What is your philosophy and approach to behavioral management? When children act up during Story Time they are trying to communicate something. They are trying to tell us what they are feeling, or what they want or don’t want. My job is to figure out what they are trying to communicate, to address that need, and help them to find a better way.
Credentials. The American Place Theatre Literature To Life Program, Marymount Manhattan College Arts in Education Certificate Program, Arts-in-Education Program, Actors’ Fund of America