• EILEEN JOHNSON

    School Director

    I was born and educated in Ireland, and there I taught High School and Elementary School children. Working with very young children has been the most fulfilling and rewarding part of my career. My best teaching moments happen when I can be in the moment and listen to the children, then we are all learning together. Children are so much more connected with the power of the unconscious, and every day I learn from them how to let go of preconceived ideas and be humble in the face of their innate creativity. I believe that all good teachers are artists, capable of being in the moment, and responsive to the children who are their audience, and their inspiration.

     

     

  • Hayley Ferber

    Assistant Director/Art Teacher

    I have always had a love of art and a passion for working with children.  After studying painting, drawing and art history at New York University I found a job as an assistant teacher at a day care center on Long Island.  What started as my first post-college job quickly became the base for my career in education.  I loved working with the young children, watching them learn, discover and grow.  I moved to Rhode Island where I received my Masters in Art & Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design and taught Art in Massachusetts for four years.  After moving back to New York, I taught for a year at a charter school before taking a position as production manager at a handmade children’s clothing store.  The combination of these experiences have led me to Little Missionary’s where I have the dual role of art teacher and assistant to the director.  I love being a part of the behind-the-scenes here at Little Mish, helping to keep everything organized and running smoothly and also getting to interact with the parents.  The rest of my time is spent teaching art to the students where they explore using different materials and techniques such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and collage.

  • Elaine Eng

    Head Teacher Twos Class

    I have been teaching at Little Mish for 12 years as the head teacher of the Twos class. I have experience teaching children ages 2-10 years. I earned a degree in Early Childhood education and Elementary education through NYU and Brooklyn College. I came into teaching because of my love for children and the belief that all children deserve a great education. I believe that all children are natural learners and have a basic curiosity in the world around them. I feel my role is to facilitate young children by providing a warm, supportive and creative environment for children to grow socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Working at Little Mish has made me more aware of the whole child and honoring them as individuals. The philosophy of being there to listen and validating a young child’s feelings has been a focal point for me during my years teaching at Little Mish. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy cooking, baking, listening to music and visiting the city’s great museums.

     

  • Glennis Ramirez

    Teacher Twos Class

    I am an assistant teacher in the Twos classroom at Little Mish, and I have previously been working in the fours classroom. I have enjoyed being at Little Mish, there is a very big family environment-the teachers are close as well as the children. As well as teaching I am also learning at Little Mish not only from the rest of the teachers but also from the children. I am also the cooking class teacher for the whole school. I have four wonderful children, two who are twins. I enjoy and look forward to bringing new experiences to your children every day.

  • Jessica Rubio

    Teacher, Twos Class

    I had been a substitute teacher at Little Missionary’s for the Twos and Threes classes since 2013. I love working with these children. I learn a lot from them, just me being around them for the short time that they are there. I’ve noticed that every child has their own personality, and different ways of dealing with situations. I have grown to have this bond with the other teachers at little Mish, not just working with coworkers, but instead like a small family that we all are a part of. This will be my second year as assistant teacher for the Twos and I am truly excited  to be a part of this environment, helping these wonderful children find themselves. Not only will I be helping the children they might also be helping me find out things about myself that I have yet to discover. I am a full time student majoring in psychology. I enjoy learning about people and how their minds work, I love reading and writing but most of all I love spending time with my family and friends. I am a very open minded person I love to learn new things and I feel like working at little Missionary’s will be the best thing at this time in my life were I am trying to find my self and what I truly love.

     

  • Chikako Yoda

    Head Teacher 2s/3s Class

    I remember the first day I visited Little Mish for my interview with Eileen. I liked the cozy environment, small classrooms, kitchen, and back yard. I really wanted to work for this school. Fortunately, I got the position and I’ve enjoyed working for Little Mish from the first day. I really like the small size of the classroom. I have always wondered how is a teacher supposed get to know each child if there are 20 of them in the classroom. I have taught 22 children by myself before, and I realized that by the end of the school year I didn’t understand them, which I felt was devastating. Now, I can notice if something happens simply by looking at their face. The size of the classroom is beneficial for me to understand each child.

    Of course, I agree with the school philosophy. I grew up in Japan, where I was told that I should not show my feelings. This school philosophy is totally opposite my old school and culture. In order to develop communication with others, we need to acknowledge other’s feeling and understand our own. We shouldn’t hide our feelings. Before I started working, I read about the school philosophy and I understood. Now, I am at Little Mish and being with children every day, and working on learning how to understand other’s feelings.

  • Angelina Bowkett

    Teacher 2s/3s Class
    I have been working with children for the past 6 years. I have been a counselor-in-training, an after school teacher, a volunteer for a school in Chile, a teacher’s assistant, a babysitter, and for the past two years a nanny for 2 little boys. I have worked with  children ages 6 months up to school aged.
    I was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to New York City when I was 6 years old. I had a difficult childhood but was adopted by loving parents at age 9. I was very lucky to have parents, teachers and mentors who listened to me and worked hard to understand my behaviors. With their support I learned how to express myself, focus better, and be a better member in my school’s community.
    My personal experiences have drawn me to pursue childhood education, specifically emotional education.Working as an after-school teacher and at the daycare I noticed that these environments were focused on having children follow rules and schedules, and not focused on the children’s behaviors, moods or actions.  I observed that this method of interaction was not working, so I started asking myself, “If I were in these children’s situations what would I need, what would I want?”  Just as I needed extra support, so did they. I decided I needed to break away from the basic teaching methods. 

    I am very proud to be working at Little Mish alongside teachers who put children and their needs first. My future goal is to become a kindergarden teacher or a middle-school guidance counselor. Outside of the classroom I love to paint, make jewelry, write poems and play sports.  I am currently writing a children’s book.

  • Fiona Sawyer

    Teacher 2s/3s Class

    I am a recent graduate of Keene State College, where I studied Sociology and Art History. I am very excited to be working as an assistant with the Twos and Threes this fall. I have been a counselor at The Pelham Art Center. There I instructed children ages three to five in making art, putting on plays, and tended to their emotional needs. I have also been a babysitter for over ten years, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. It thrills me to watch the children grow and to help them explore their creativity. I always try to be attuned to the emotional needs of children. My psychoanalyst parents have promoted my understanding of emotional development, which I see as such an important part of education. I am in total agreement with the educational philosophy of Little Mish and love its warm, empathic community. In my free time I enjoy yoga, tennis, movies, hiking, photography, and art.

  • Susanna Moller

    Head Teacher Threes Class

    I grew up in New York City and went to the Brearley School. Afterwards, I went to Grinnell College in Iowa and studied fine arts, concentrating on drawing and printmaking. I have worked at day camps and a community youth center, with children ages two through twelve. I also spent several semesters working at two detention facilities teaching art classes and serving as a writing tutor. I love working with students and helping to create a fun classroom and to support different learning styles. Similarly, I find it very important to shape a classroom that is as attentive to each individual student as it is to the whole group. As a teacher, I strive to encourage students to learn visually and to be imaginative.  I very much enjoy working with young children and feel very lucky to be with the twos class at Little Mish. Outside of school I spend much of my time drawing and riding my bike in Prospect Park.

     

  • Jessica Adam

    Teacher Threes Class

    I remember as a child wanting to work with children when I became an adult. My family can attest; my favorite activity was to play school, I would gather my students-dolls, stuffed animals, any available family member-and read them stories or give spelling tests. I loved going to school as a child, and even after college I went to graduate school at Hunter College, where I received my Masters in School Counseling.

    I have been working with children for 7 years, in their homes as a babysitter, and in schools as a teacher and counselor. I love the curiosity children have when exploring their world, and I enjoy watching as they make a new discovery. I believe children constantly learn through their environment, and I hope to guide the children I teach in conversations with their peers or feelings that arise throughout the day. I am eager to teach at Little Mish, to read stories to my students, and to join them as they discover their world.

  • Vera Schenk

    Teacher Threes Class

    I was born and raised in Northern Italy, were I worked with children from a very early age. In 2008, I left Italy to see and learn more of the world, while working for families in Switzerland and Austria. Five years ago, I came to New York as an au pair.

    While in New York, I earned my Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and have volunteered in many different afternoon programs in both private and public schools. My plan is to pursue my Bachelors degree Childhood Education and subsequently, my Master’s in Education.

    I first learned about Little Missionary Day Nursery in 2013 and immediately fell in love with it! I loved the size of the classrooms, and the teachers alike and felt a deep connection with the philosophy of social and emotional development. Respecting children, while allowing them to be who they are, is key to a productive learning environment.

    In my experience, I have found two things very helpful when working with children: listening and observing. Being able to actively listen is key to a establishing a positive relationship, while observing children in a natural and safe environment can tell us a great deal about who they are and how they learn.

    I am happy to be working in this great community and I can’t wait to meet all the children with their different personalities. I hope to bring all my travel and teaching experiences into the Little Mish classroom.

     

     

  • Abby Greenbaum

    Head Teacher 3s/4s Class

    This is my first year at Little Missionary’s and I couldn’t be more excited to join this community as a head teacher. From my earliest days growing up in the Catskills, I have enjoyed working with young children. From the age of 16 through my college years, I worked as a camp counselor for young children. I have over 5 years experience working in early childhood classrooms around the city. Prior to working as a teacher, I was a children’s museum educator, nanny and freelance editor. I earned my Masters degree in Early Childhood Special and General Education from Bank Street College of Education. I am a strong believer and practitioner in progressive education. I know that children thrive when they feel empowered and supported to pursue their interests, get messy and make mistakes in a safe and nurturing environment. I enjoy helping children learn about themselves and navigate challenging social situations. Outside of the classroom, I like to cook, go to concerts, cycle, travel and craft.

  • Isabel Ramirez

    Teacher 3s/4s Class

    I enjoy laughing and playing with the children in this class. I am blessed because I have the opportunity to get to know the children. I learn about their interests and the way they interact with each other. It is very interesting to see how they grow as individuals during the school year. Not only do I work with children, but I am raising three of my own at home.

  • Kelsey Glass-Johnston

    Teacher 3s/4s Class

    I grew up in the suburbs of New York, and, after college in Chicago, in 2011 I returned to New York and began working as an assistant teacher in the Threes class at Little Mish. I help out with daily tasks in the classroom and am available as a listening ear for the children—I spend my days talking to the children, reading to them, doing dramatic activities with them, asking them questions, playing with them, watching them play, putting visually stimulating objects in their field of vision and seeing what they do, and observing them. I see my job as being a facilitator of a child’s self development. I try to help create a classroom environment that gives children the safety and the space they need to grow. Inspired by the example set Little Mish parents, students, and other teachers, I strive to nurture a genuine respect for each child in the class. Outside of my work at Little Mish, I spend a lot of time doing improvisation and theater, both of which are very similar to being in a classroom full of three year olds.

  • Tess Alpern

    Head Teacher PreK Class

    I grew up on the Upper West Side and come from a family of teachers and artists. I graduated from The Brearley School in 2008 and then moved on to Vassar College, where I studied art and psychology. I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Early Childhood Special and General Education at Bank Street. I enjoy being both a teacher and a student! I have had many meaningful experiences with children across a diverse range of settings—classrooms, art studios, orphanages, community centers, hospital rooms, museum offices and galleries— and truly recognize and appreciate the distinctive behavioral patterns and emotional needs of all different kinds of children. This combination of theory with practice has fostered my evolving perspective upon the special kind of care, education, and critical attention a child’s blossoming mind requires and deserves. I am thrilled to be part of an historic school and active community that shares this dedication.

    Outside of Little Mish, I am an avid oil painter with a deep interest in art therapy. I am fascinated by the role and potential of creative arts in education, self-development, and healing. I have worked at some notable New York museums and spent several summers guiding developmentally disabled children through art projects by providing them with stress-reducing sensory stimulation and nonverbal means of personal expression. I also lead monthly art workshops at the Ronald McDonald House. When I am not working with children, I love cooking and travelling!

  • Kathy Ramirez

    Teacher PreK Class
    I started working at Little Mish in 2007 when I was in High School, as an assistant afterschool teacher and from then on I fell in love with Little Mish, the teachers, the classrooms, the children, the ambiance and the philosophy. I’ve always loved children because of their curiousity and their yearning to want to know more about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of things. I believe that not only do the children learn from the teachers, parents and guardians but we have a lot to learn from them as well.
    As the oldest of four children, there is something that stuck to me from when I was a child and that is that you should always keep that inner child in you. Growing up I was always taught that it is normal and acceptable to have any and all feelings and that I should freely express my emotions; with that I continue with the same lesson to the children I am around because feelings are a crucial part of life and being able to express them in a healthy manner is even more important. The biggest lesson I have learned so far with working with children is that each child is individual and unique and they should be treated as such.  In Spring 2015, I will be holding a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a concentration on Education, then I will immediately go on to getting my Masters. On my free time I enjoy painting, reading, dancing, singing, playing sports, and spending time with my loved ones.
  • William Vargas

    Teacher PreK Class/Music Teacher

    I have been working at the Sara Curry Little Missionary Day Nursery for the past 12 years. I am an assistant Teacher in the Threes class but I have also been in the Twos and Fours classes. I am also the Music Teacher for the whole school. I graduated from the Diller Quaile Music School and I am working on a CD of songs, which I compose specially for children. I love to play the guitar and sing my songs to children as well as other world music. I enjoy being with the children laughing and playing and learning.  I am the proud winner of Scholastic’s Blackboard Award for Teachers.