Bio

I was born and raised in Seattle, living in the Roanoke and View Ridge neighborhoods. I went to school at Seward (now TOPS) and Wedgwood, Nathan Eckstein, and then Blanchet. While growing up, I played premier soccer for club teams and the Olympic Development Program. I attended the UW, where I graduated with distinction in Speech Communication. I spent the next four years being a nanny in this area for several families and traveling both abroad and within the states.

Birch School History

Several years ago, I began a three-hour play group for two-year olds at the home of one of the children. Three of the moms are my yoga instructors, and they taught or practiced yoga and ran errands during this time. The children and I spent time playing, going to the local parks, doing art projects, reading, etc. I absolutely loved my experience looking after this group, and the children and their mothers built a strong community.

Then, a couple of years later, I had a wonderful opportunity to teach two weeks of a self-discovery / self-awareness camp for children. I also completed a training through YogaEd, a company that teaches self-awareness and self-regulation to children using yoga principles done with a child-friendly approach. In addition, I took classes in the Early Childhood Education Program at North Seattle Community College that helped me better understand how children learn as well as the importance of play in children's cognitive development. These experiences influenced me on many levels, and I incorporate the tools I learned into my time with the children.

In spring of 2010, I purchased my own home, and after designing and remodeling the downstairs into a space for young children, we moved the school here to the Bryant neighborhood. Since then, Birch School has evolved organically, and has thus transformed from a 'play group' to a school, with many themes, a monthly newsletter, and a consistent daily rhythm.

References

Available on request.