I began my career in early childhood education as a pre-Kindergarten teacher in Newark, New Jersey. During that time, I had the privilege of introducing my students to school. Each day was another opportunity to understand and meet my children’s needs through targeted efforts to advance their growth in all settings—from circle time, to small groups, to lunch time chats, to choice time in centers. Collaboration with families, my teaching assistant, and other teachers also proved essential in furthering my students’ cognitive, early literacy, social emotional, and physical development.
While teaching, I contributed to the professional development of other early childhood educators by serving as a model teacher in the district and becoming the model used to train Teach For America pre-K teachers across the country. I engaged in the larger dialogue about the prospects of high quality pre-K by being Pre-K Now’s first teacher blogger from 2006-7. I then partnered with Gryphon House to publish a book based on my experiences in the classroom. The final product, Good Morning, Children: My First Years in Early Childhood Education, was published in April 2009.
In 2007, I left the classroom to expand Teach For America's presence in both center and school based early childhood programs. I earned a Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where I joined graduate students from the schools of Education and Public Health to start Bright Beginnings, a forum for the exchange of ideas and perspectives on early childhood development. I remain active in the larger early childhood community by leading professional development sessions in school districts and at national and regional early childhood conferences.