The teaching staff is made up of dedicated professionals, many of whom have taught here for more than three years. Head teachers either have a Master's degree or are in the process of earning one. Assistant teachers have a BA or AA degree. Some of the teachers are in school working on AA, BA or MS degrees. Each classroom has a Head teacher, two Assistant teachers and a Part-time teacher who works at the end of the day.
Additionally, we have Floater teachers at the CFC. Floater teachers are full-time Assistant teachers who move between classrooms to provide additional support. The Floater teacher gets to know all the children and families so that she or he is not a stranger to the children. Floaters are considered full members of the teaching team while in a room. They may also provide additional fill in for teachers who are absent.
The Director, Karen J. Booth, has been with the CFC since July, 2009. She has had experience teaching and directing Early Childhood programs since 1974. She has worked at nursery and child care programs as well as on-going schools. Karen earned her BS degree at Wayne State University and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education at the Bank Street College of Education. In addition to being responsible for the over-all direction of the CFC, she directly supervises the preschool program. Karen works with parents when their child is going to kindergarten. She meets with parents individually to discuss their child, what kind of school they are looking for and guides and supports them throughout the process. Since joining the CFC, Karen has implemented a children’s gardening program, overseen the expansion and renovation of the CFC facility and playgrounds, and enhanced the vibrant arts program.
Tamara Rowe, Assistant Director, is the on-site supervisor for the infant and toddler rooms in SFH. She initially began working with children and families while earning a Masters in Social Work at Boston University and later served as a preventive services worker in Bedford Stuyvesant. After her first child was born, she opened a family daycare center in her home. Over the course of 17 years, the program expanded to serve both typically developing children and those with special needs in the NYU/Greenwich Village community. In May, 2010 she obtained a Masters in Early Childhood and Special Education from NYU. She is also actively involved as a parent advocate in the public school system. At the CFC, she works primarily with the staff and children in SFH. She guides the teachers in planning curriculum and supporting the philosophy of the center. Tamara also assists the Director with the whole program.
Alexa Pomales, Assistant Director, is the on-site supervisor for the infant and toddler rooms in our GSR building. Her love for teaching and working with children began early. As a child, she grew up watching her mother manage a family childcare program in her home. In 2002, Alexa began her tenure at the CFC as a part-time teacher. Before becoming Assistant Director, she held the position of Head teacher for four years. Alexa earned her BS degree in Psychology from Hunter College and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from City College. She works primarily with the teachers as well as with the children and their families in GSR. She guides the teachers in planning curriculum and supporting the philosophy of the center. She also assists the Director with the whole program at CFC.
Rachel Gordon is the CFC’s creative movement teacher. Originally a professional dancer from Chicago, Rachel moved to New York City to pursue a teaching career. With certifications and experience in Music Together and Kinderdance, a background in a variety of styles of dance and a love for the arts, teaching movement to young children was a natural fit. Rachel brings her passion for dance, music and singing into each class she teaches. Toddlers and Preschoolers have movement weekly.
The music teacher, Bari Koral, is a professional songwriter, singer and music educator. She leads a band, The Bari Koral Family Rock Band, and writes the music they sing. She has written many songs for the CFC children and they have enjoyed learning them. Besides teaching the children new songs she is also teaching them about music. Bari uses her yoga training to support her music classes. The children have music once (toddlers) or twice (preschoolers) a week.
Jessica Howard is the art teacher for the older children in the preschool. She earned her BA in Fine Arts at Syracuse University and has taken additional classes at Bank Street College. She has taught art to toddlers through middle school students at a variety of programs including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recently in her work with children, Jessica has focused on art projects which incorporate a vast array of materials such as liquid watercolors, charcoal, clay and mosaic tiles in a variety of innovative ways. The children in the Blue and Gold Rooms have art with Jessica once per week in the art studio.
Work week, the week before Labor Day, is an important part of the teachers' professional development. It sets the stage for the on-going meetings that happen monthly and weekly throughout the year. During work week, new teams are constituted. We have many meetings to bring new teachers into the culture of the CFC and learn more about the program. We have meetings about health and safety, curriculum and working with children as well as spend time cleaning and organizing the rooms.
Throughout the year each teaching team (the teachers in a room) meets weekly to discuss curriculum and children. Additionally, we have monthly whole staff meetings, building meetings, head teacher, and teacher assistant meetings. These meetings are about many topics: SIDS, epilepsy and seizure, team mission statements, health and safety issues, child development, workshops on curriculum areas such as clay and collage, individualizing the program for all children, etc. All these meetings provide professional development for the teachers.