General Bankstreet News

Best Of The Alumni Blog In 2011

Posted by Claire Daniel on December 27, 2011

With 2011 quickly coming to a close, it’s time we look back at the events and experiences that shaped the lives of our fellow Bank Streeters. What have our students and alumni been up to? Here is a sampling of the many wonderful posts featured on the Alumni Blog in 2011. 

Make Teacher Peer Evaluation Happen — Harlem Link Charter School Co-Director Steven Evangelista (’01) kicked off 2011 with a resolution for the tricky and contentious topic of teacher evaluations. His idea? “Forget the fuss. Let’s put in the hard work required to involve teachers in evaluating each other.”

Susan Ochshorn (’99), founder and principal of ECE PolicyWorks, continued the discussion in Teaching, Learning and Assessment: Getting It Right. Also published on HuffPo Education, Ochshorn acknowledges several fellow Bank Streeters in her post:

But early childhood practitioners can’t put their heads in the sandbox. As Julie Diamond, Fretta Reitzes and Betsy Grob make clear in their contribution to The Right to Learn: Preparing Early Childhood Teachers to Work in High-Need Schools, they must be test-savvy and conversant with the language of standards and accountability; they should be well educated in the methods of observation and assessment; they need to have a rich understanding of curriculum and instructional strategies; and, most important, they must be ready and able to defend their practice, by consistent documentation of children’s active learning.

Wisconsin — One of the biggest stories in 2011 was the teachers union protests in Wisconsin. In this post, 1st grade teacher Mai Jacobs’ (’87) shares her thoughts and frustrations over the situation. 

Run, Don’t Walk, to Jim Henson’s Fantastic World at the Museum of the Moving Image  — Eleanor Traubman ('95) interviews Queens-based Museum of the Moving Image’s Deputy Director for Education Christopher Wisniewski on the Jim Henson’s Fantastic World exhibit (July 16, 2011 – January 16, 2012). Don’t miss your chance to see this amazing exhibit!

Learning Specialist Lorraine Yamin (’95) shares A “Lead-Able” Moment…With Elephant in a touching post about communicating complexity and sensitivity — in this case to the parents of a special needs boy.

BSCAA Awards Presented to 5 Outstanding Educators — In June, BSCAA honored five outstanding educators; three received Alumni Awards and two were the recipients of Faculty Awards. And the winners are... 

Report from South Africa — Last July, Laura Zellerbach (’11) and current student Emily Soong journeyed to South Africa to observe and report on the workings of early childcare centers there. Here is their report from the field. 

How Museum Design “Taught” a School — Can the informal learning approaches used in museum design be translated to an elementary school? Jo Ann Secor (’88) thought so. Read Learning Curve, to see how she did it.

A Parent and an Educator; Do I Really Have to Choose? — For Dr. Hollee Freeman (‘94), being a parent and an educator can be complicated. 

“I am cognizant of the fact that I have to maneuver between being a parent who happens to know a lot about education and teaching and being a parent who is just interested,” she writes in her guest post, and asks: 

How many parents should speak before I speak in a school meeting? How many hours, days, weeks should go by before I approach a teacher when I have a question about pedagogy or curriculum? How do I ask questions in ways that don’t sound judgmental? We have to be mindful of asking authentic questions but sometimes we just want to be parents and be blunt.

Parents who teach: can you relate?

Volunteer Opportunity at Harlem Hospital — Director of Child Life Services Emily Johnson (‘11) describes a day in the life of a child life specialist at Harlem Hospital, and makes a special request from the Bank Street community:

Right now, what I need the most, are volunteers people who share a vision of equal health care for all, and who love working with children. We need people to sit and read with our patients, or provide arts-and-crafts activities for them, or play board or card games with a patient, or hold a baby whose mother works during the day and can’t stay with him while he’s in the hospital.

Want to make an impact in 2012? Contact Emily via e-mail or phone 212-939-4645.


If you’re an alumni of Bank Street College of Education make sure to add your voice to the conversation at The Alumni Blog. Submit your thoughts, questions, ideas, inspirations, or experiences to

Happy New Year Bank Streeters! We hope you have safe and happy Holidays, and many new experiences to share in 2012.

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