My name is Sara. If you visit this space periodically through the semester, you’ll find what I’m hoping will be helpful insight from my experiences here at Bank Street.
Though I initially thought I would pursue a career in journalism, I always had a quiet voice in the back of my head telling me to consider teaching. I had some very powerful educators help shape my life at several points. I quickly grew tired of the competitive nature of journalism, and how I felt it provided little opportunity for making a direct and meaningful difference in people’s lives.
I first heard of Bank Street through a friend and colleague who I worked with at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut. She was applying for the Museum Education program, and her description of it lit a light bulb over my head. No, in fact, it set off fireworks. At the time, I was also working as a teacher’s assistant in a Montessori Pre-K (and part-time at an indie cinema – yes, three jobs: I like to burn the candle at both ends). I rather fell into that job, but soon realized through working with those wee ones that I had found my calling. What if I could combine my passion for museums with educating children?
When I attended a Bank Street open house and later a career changers panel, I knew that this was where I belong. It might sound corny, but I am a believer of fate and I think I was meant to find myself here. Merely from standing in the foyer, I could tell this wasn’t some factory of a school, churning out degrees. Bank Street felt inviting and dedicated to making the lives of children better. This is a place where it’s evident that students, faculty and staff foster and maintain relationships.
I began to plan not only my application to Bank Street for the following year, but also a move to New York City. It was not an easy decision for me. I hesitated to move away from relatives in Connecticut once again (I had previously lived in Scotland where I earned a postgraduate degree in Journalism), and I also wasn’t sure if I should leave my educator position, where I was being encouraged to become a Montessori teacher. Eventually I decided that I needed to take a chance. I knew that if I didn’t take a risk and try living in a new city, I might regret it for the rest of my life. I also considered how my journeys, through undergraduate college and a postgraduate year in Glasgow, had started out fraught with nerves, yet are experiences that I still cherish. Every major risk I’ve ever taken has proven worthwhile.
I am certain that with my degree from Bank Street, I will find myself in a position where I can create a positive impact on others – whether I end up as a museum educator, a classroom teacher or an art teacher. I want to impart upon developing minds the power in visual creativity, and how it can be a vehicle for them to understand themselves and each other.
So there’s your first glimpse into Sara. Hopefully, if you are considering Bank Street, my perspective will help you in your decision.