I bring the stance of being open to learn, appreciation of the power of stories and the ability to translate ideas to all my work.
"I discovered that I could hear music
when people shared their stories."
In the fall of 1975, I arrived in New York City on a Greyhound bus clutching my pocketbook having been warned about purse-snatchers. Newly graduated from the University of Vermont, I came to study Infant and Parent Development at Bank Street College.
At Bank Street, I learned about children under three, families, observing, and quality programming. I learned even more about myself. When Ellen Galinsky hired me to work at the Infant and Family Center in 1976 I never dreamed that the lessons learned and people I met there would become the core of my life’s work.
I learned that being in charge was not the same as having all the answers. In fact, relationships and learning for all of us deepened when I grew confident and comfortable enough to say to a staff member or parent: “I don’t know. Let’s figure it out together.”
I discovered that I could hear music when people shared their stories. The realization that their insights could lead me -and others -to new possibilities was the start of my interest in documentation.
I began to write… about what we did to create quality and even more importantly, about the why behind our decisions about what to say and do. I began to see myself as a translator.
In the fall of 1983, I left the Family Center needing and wanting to stretch and grow in new ways. In all of my work since then – whether serving on the Early Head Start Advisory Committee, grounding the creators of Blue’s Clues in the magic of everyday moments for young children, gathering stories of community mobilization across the country or developing the first materials for military families with babies and toddlers – I bring the stance of being open to learn, appreciation of the power of stories to help people uncover their moment of effectiveness and the ability to translate ideas in ways that connect with those who are most likely to use them.