In my experience, children tend to say the word mom (or any variation of it) a lot. Many times, mothers are the center of young children’s universes and they bring all of their experiences (and sometimes, lack of experiences) with their mothers to school.
We honor the significance of mothers in young children’s lives and in the field of early childhood education by catching up with one of our past bloggers and Bank Street alumna, who happens to be an educator and mom— Sharon Leatherwood. We recognize her contributions to the blog and note some of her journey post Bank Street.
Take a look at her commentary via interview and also what happens to be a very eventful (and cool) graduation anecdote:
C: What have you been up to since your Bank Street blogger days?
S:I graduated from Bank Street in the fall of 2016. I worked for 2 years as a 2nd grade Associate Teacher at The Spence School. This year I will be working in Jersey City at The Embankment School in a 2nd/3rd grade combination class. I also had a baby! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend graduation in May because she decided to come a month early! She is now 5 months old.
C: How did being a blogger impact what you’re doing now?
S: It made me have such great pride in being a part of the Bank Street Community. I love sharing about my experience at Bank Street with anyone willing to listen. I feel like I’m an ambassador for the school sometimes.
C: What Bank Street philosophies stuck with you the most— which most boldly became part of your thinking?
S: The idea that we are all lifelong learners. I learn so much from my students everyday and they inspire me to continue to be curious about the world. I also now LOVE teaching Math, something I never thought possible before coming to Bank Street.
Getting to know a little about Sharon and reading about her experience had me saying “same!” a lot, and gave me some insight as to the impact this outlet for our writing and Bank Street has on our lives— it is long-lasting and edifying. It is also a wonderful thing to see her flourishing in both motherhood and the education field.
As for me, I’m not a mom yet— although I call my students “mine” far too often and nurture them in their growth much like mothers do. What I can offer however, is that like Sharon, I can’t say enough about the incredible experience Bank Street and the graduate admissions blog have offered me. I’ve had a chance to explore every aspect of student life. I have analyzed everything from practice in the classroom to theory, democracy, and many other social justice matters even as the blog has served as a vital source for catharsis in working through the life of a graduate student. As I make the transition from student to alumna, I think about how the blog has given me the unique opportunity to thoroughly dissect teaching, learning and society, giving me an invaluable avenue for both expressing my thoughts and hashing them out as I continue to grow in my philosophies as educator and as Sharon mentioned – life-long learner.
So for all graduate students— apply to be the next student blogger! Especially if you’re a mom— the mother’s perspective as a student and educator can promote really meaningful insight for children’s learning and development.