This is Farida’s sixth year co-teaching a first grade classroom at a public school in Manhattan. She loves to find new and fun ways to express herself through art, bringing that excitement and passion into the classroom and school community. One of her favorite projects is to create mosaic murals with students and display them at school. She believes that exposing students to art will build an understanding that will last a lifetime.
Jessica teaches math at a magnet middle school. She also teaches a variety of subjects including an arts integration course. In this class, Jessica uses works of art to approach interesting math concepts such as the golden ratio.
Before she became and art educator five years ago, Jill had a long career as a creative director and marketing strategist. Interested in teaching in underserved communities, she works at a middle school in Harlem. For Jill, it is essential to integrate social, emotional, and practical life skills into her art project. She is also an active member in the New York City and State Art Teacher Associations.
Stephanie is a Lower, Middle, and Upper School Digital Arts and Photography teacher at Hewitt School. She received her B.S. in Photography from Drexel University and her M.A. in Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Stephanie is particularly interested in integrating technology into the visual arts curriculum, and has presented her research at the National Art Education Association annual conference. In addition to her work in the art room, Stephanie advises the school’s award winning yearbook, acts as the Upper School service coordinator, and as the faculty advisor for TEDxYouth@Hewitt.
Esther teaches second grade at a New York City public school. Her career started at the Smithsonian Institute of American Art and then led her to advertising. Twelve years ago, she felt a calling to teach and has been doing so ever since. Her goal as a teacher is to give students the tools and confidence they need to keep asking questions and to ignite a passion for learning.
Nancy teaches visual arts to students at a middle school in East Elmhurst, Queens. She is passionate about sharing her students’ work and has received recognition in many competitions for teaching students how to repurpose recycled objects through a variety of multidisciplinary projects. Her students have presented their work to Queens community leaders and have collaborated on mural and window design projects in their neighborhood.
Whitney works as the integrated co-teacher for eighth grade students in a public school in Manhattan. She works collaboratively with the humanities, math, and science teachers to support diverse learners, co-planning lessons in many content areas. She hopes that incorporating the arts across subject areas will foster students’ thinking about the “crafted” world around them, help them consciously interact with and question their surroundings, and see themselves as active participants in society.
Claire O’Connor has taught English, reading, and writing in Morocco, Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, and at the University of Idaho, where she received her MFA in creative writing. After moving to New York City, she joined the New York City Teaching Fellows, and she has taught students with disabilities in public high schools for the past five years. She currently teaches ninth though twelfth grade English and special education students.
Sarah teaches first grade at a public school in Chelsea, where she uses visual arts, music, dance, and poetry to make content comprehensible for English Language Learners and students with special needs. With a background in English language teaching, Sarah launched her teaching career in Russia. While working at a large public high school in Queens, she earned her M.A. in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Hunter College. Whenever possible, Sarah strives to incorporate the arts in her teaching practice.
Laura began her career as an educator on the staff of a youth program at a community arts organization in Providence, Rhode Island. She worked with incarcerated youth, leading workshops and publishing a journal of writing and art by participants. Laura became a high school history teacher on the Lower East Side in 2007. She now works at an innovative small public school that is a member of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, designing and teaching courses on American history, world revolutions, matriarchal societies, and social justice movements.
Julie Smith has been teaching visual art to pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students in New York City public schools for seven years. She received a BFA in Art History from Ohio University in 2002 and an M.A. in Art Education from the DAAP Program at the University of Cincinnati in 2007. Julie has worked in collaboration with Studio in a School, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the non-profit organization Operation Design.
For the past seven years, Nitzan has taught high school social studies and special education. She currently works at a small arts-driven public school. Nitzan enjoys challenging herself and her students with engaging classroom activities and projects. One of her passions is developing new curriculum around historical case studies that deal with justice and actions in times of crisis.