2018 was a year of many changes and beginnings
This Fall, for the first time in over 20 years, I am not in the classroom / school studio. After years of working as a head-teacher, a one-on-one teacher for children with special needs, and adjuncting for three different universities (in three different states!) while running the art program at the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center at Columbia University, and the Saturday Art Program for preK-12 children at Penn State University, I am now an assistant professor at CUNY’s College of Staten Island.
I am thrilled with my new job, and I love my colleagues. The people – faculty, department chairs, my fantastic Dean who shares my love of scavenging, staff – and their incredible breath of work, interests, and expertise, and the conversations we had during my interview, etc. – were one of the main reasons I decided to take this job. But I do miss the way listening to kids keeps me on my tippy toes, the way emergent curriculum forces a focused look on the unexpected, and the daily reminder that it’s really just about being in the world. So I’m working out ways of weaving all that into full time academia too…
In the Fall of 2018 I participated in the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education conference, this year held in Copenhagen. While in Denmark, I visited several schools and programs, and met interesting people doing interesting work.
As I prepare for the first semester of 2019 – finding placements for students, writing syllabi for new courses, and all that fun – I am headed to Wellington to participate in the 8th International Art in Early Childhood Conference, held at the Victoria University of Wellington.
When I head back home as the Spring semester beings, I will be excited to teach new and old courses, to spend more time in schools with my student-teachers, move along with some research and writing, and prepare for a few more conferences happening this Spring and Summer, nationally and around the world. And, of course, to spending more time in the studio, longer days for running in the park, and all sorts of fun.