Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Bank Street will be closed today (October 30th) and tomorrow (October 31). Keep an eye out on our website or our Facebook page for any further developments about closures. For those affected by Hurricane Sandy, stay safe!

[Updated October 31, 2012 at 7:35 p.m.] The Graduate School will be closed until Monday, November 5th. 

For those applying to the graduate school for Spring 2013, the priority application deadline is Thursday, November 1st. However, we want to remind applicants that we accept applications on a rolling basis and, for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, understand that your application materials might come later than anticipated. Some admissions staff will be returning to the College on Friday, November 2nd to answer any questions or receive any materials directly. 

Please feel free to call the graduate admissions office on Friday, November 2nd, if you have any questions.

You Won’t Know Unless You Apply!

For about a year I had been reading about Bank Street and mentally preparing for applying. The actual completion of the application was far less time-consuming, though I did revise it numerous times. If you can get things like your reference letters, and transcript out of the way early on, I would recommend it.

Considering I have two other degrees, and plenty of loan baggage (who doesn’t these days?), financial aid was something I had many questions about. I cannot praise the financial aid office here enough. Just like admissions, they are quick to help you and are prepared to assist you with any problem.

In deciding on whether or not Bank Street was the right fit for me, I considered how a degree in education would propel me, either as a classroom teacher or a museum educator. The versatility in my program was a very attractive aspect, which I found reassuring. My undergraduate degree was in journalism, and I was not sure if that was a good basis for a graduate degree in education. However, during my initial interview, the director of my program quickly erased my doubt. She likened giving a lesson or a museum tour to writing an article. Basically, they involve the craft of telling a story.

My interview was not nerve wracking at all. I felt very comfortable chatting with the director of my program and was pleasantly surprised with how efficient the process here at Bank Street is. For starters, the mere fact that my interview was with someone from my department was encouraging. In larger institutions, I wondered why someone so far removed from my degree program would conduct the interview, and what might get lost as the information was passed along. I still regularly see this member of my faculty who interviewed me here, and I know that I can contact her anytime with questions. In fact, she emails job opportunities to our cohort nearly every day!

As I learned more and more about Bank Street, and its philosophy, I realized the immense potential before me. Here, I would learn how to be an educator for the children, not just another teacher, handing out worksheets and barking orders.

It didn’t take long for my acceptance letter to arrive confirming the next chapter of my life. For all of the time and energy I dedicated to the application, it was nice to get such a quick response.

No matter your situation, if you are considering an education with Bank Street College, nothing should inhibit you from applying. I have consistently felt that the people of this institution are here to help me succeed. The common goal here is creating great educators. Even if you yourself cannot recognize the potential that you have, there are many people here who can recognize it and know how to further develop it. Trust is necessary when you dedicate so much time, effort, and expense in your education, so it’s important that you feel as though you have put your career in the right hands.

Bank Street on the road!

Bank Street will be at the following graduate fairs this week:

Gettysburg College – Tuesday, October 23
College Union Building
4:00pm – 6:00pm

Franklin & Marshall College – Wednesday, October 24
Mayer Physical Education Center
11:30am – 1:30pm

Priority Deadline for Spring 2013 Semester: November 1

If you’re planning to apply to Bank Street for the Spring 2013 semester, the priority deadline for applications is November 1, 2012. Click here for more information on the application process.

If you have questions ahead of the deadline, we’re here to help! Give us a call at 212-875-4404 or email us at gradcourses@bankstreet.edu.

You Have A Voice, So Use It!

The right to vote is one of the most important aspects of living in this democratic country, and it need not be a process filled with anxiety. Websites like USA.gov provide all of the nuts and bolts information about registering to vote, but keep in mind that the deadlines for registering are coming soon for many states. If you need an absentee ballot, such as a friend of mine who just relocated to New York City from South Carolina to attend Bank Street, you can easily request a form for your home state online.

A major aspect of progressive education, which goes hand in hand with democracy, is social responsibility. For those of use able to use our voices, we need to consider the voiceless. As educators, that includes children. If we want to truly affect change among the youth, we must realize how our vote impacts them, not just in terms of schools, but also communities, health, the environment – everything!

Educators, I believe, hold a particularly valuable position as role models, and a responsibility to not only educate children about democracy, but show them that it is alive and maintained by our involvement. As part of Lucy Sprague Mitchell’s credo for Bank Street, a list of potentialities most desirable to be developed in humans included “a striving to live democratically, in and out of schools, as the best way to advance our concept of democracy.”

An election year is a special opportunity for those of us in classroom environments, such as myself, currently a student teacher, to foster democratic thinking. This can be as simple as creating an activity for a class that requires everyone’s opinion, and it can be done with any age group! Even in a Pre-K, small children are capable of voting on their snack preference, as one example of a seed lesson on democracy. And it’s never too early to teach children how to respect differences of opinion. You may be preparing a future voter, or who knows, maybe even a president.

Open House

Attending a Bank Street Open House is a great way to get a sense of this unique environment. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet the people that comprise this tight-knit community, who have advice pertinent to your goals. The Open House I went to last year began with an opportunity for mingling, and then took a bit more of a formal turn to an overview of the Bank Street Graduate School.

What I particularly enjoyed was the individual program sessions that followed. Attendees were encouraged to sit in on any and every group they were interested in. Pretty set on Museum Education, I found the opportunity to chat with fellow prospective students, a current student and the course advisor to be very enlightening.

The night concluded with tours of both the graduate school and the school for children. Actually seeing a Bank Street classroom for children further assured me that I was in the right place. I felt that Bank Street’s philosophy of developmental-interaction was palpable in the classrooms, which further fueled my desire to be a progressive educator. There were countless materials for experiential learning, such as art supplies, a class pet rabbit, blocks, and even a play house.

It’s nice to get a sense of how others envisioned Bank Street propelling their careers, and it was helpful to get a concrete idea of how the program is structured. It was supremely apparent from the get-go that the primary focus here is preparing superior educators to join the field and make a positive impact quickly. I found it very motivating to meet others as passionate as myself about education, and in particular within museums.

Hello!

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.