Now that Bloomingdale Family Program is contracted to provide Early Learn, Head Start, and Child Care under the DOE (New York City’s Department of Education) we have our very own Instructional Coordinator. Katinka Haber gives us an understanding of DOE procedures and has come to know us very well. She has been very helpful with procedures and resources for our classrooms. She suggested to Maria Begg-Roberson, the Education Administrator for the Manhattan/Bronx Early Childhood Division, that a field trip by a group of Instructional Coordinators to Bloomingdale would be a good idea. It certainly was, for the IC group, and for our teachers. We were particularly thrilled that a former Bloomingdale parent was among their number. They came to quietly observe in our 987 Columbus Avenue classrooms, and then to meet with Executive Director José Velilla and Program Director of Education Director Marilyn Scudder-Barnwell. Before they left the classrooms, they shared their written observations on post-it notes they then left for the teachers. This was a remarkable exchange, and we feel truly “seen” by these professionals. Here are some sample comments, and a full set is attached here:
- I love that teachers listen to children and follow their lead.
- Wonderful to read what all the children had to say about their work. It’s great that staff is taking dictation about student’s ideas.
- Allowing students to mix their milk and strawberries to make “milkshakes” made them excited to try something new and explore new flavors.
- Wow! Whenever you engaged in conversation with the students you were warm and positive. You were also specific with your praise and encouragement.
- You three teachers work so well together as a team to make sure children have everything they need.
Maria Begg-Roberson had this to say afterward: “…You are growing confident, loving, and happy children at your school. Your teachers are emotionally responsive and truly take care of all children’s needs. What a gift you are bestowing on your community! Thank you for helping build our background knowledge of Head Start and the important place that Bloomingdale has held in the community for so many years.