By Sima Misra, Interim Early Childhood Director
I am honored and excited to follow in Kathy Duhl’s footsteps to become the new Interim Director of the Early Childhood Campus here at The Berkeley School. Two decades after my eldest son Kiran started in the Eugenia classroom, and 16 years after my son Aden started in Cedar with Alice, I feel like I’ve come full circle.
My children’s experiences at the ECC and in the TBS K-8th classrooms inspired me to switch careers in 2006 from Bioinformatics at Cal to take Montessori training and become a teacher. My first teaching experiences were as a substitute in early childhood classrooms, where I learned the joys and blessings of witnessing our youngest students explore and learn. For me, education is a calling, and working with early learners is foundational: forging their trust, nurturing their curiosity, and guiding their development socially, emotionally, and academically as their brains grow and change in stupendous ways.
I have had the opportunity to play many diverse professional roles at our school: teaching students 1st-7th, coaching teachers in the Director of Teaching & Learning role for 7 years, facilitating SEED for the past 8 years, serving on leadership teams, and providing family education. It has been an immense privilege to learn and grow, and the equity and inclusion work I have done has transformed me as a human being. I deeply believe I have a responsibility to ensure that every student learns every day, and I’m motivated by our school’s commitment to civic engagement, equity, inclusion, and justice: to prepare all students for life and to transform our world into a more thoughtful, sustainable, and compassionate place.
I believe that children deserve to be in rich environments with professionals who are experts at child development and this particular age group, with all its joys and challenges, and the ECC teachers are truly experts. Given the time in which we stand right now, so much is uncertain. I believe that in partnership, our community — masterful early childhood educators, committed administrators, and you, our families — can face these challenges and find creative solutions for the problems presented by COVID-19 in order to provide your children with a safe, high quality education.
I am eager to meet each of you and your children, even if it is necessary to do it at a socially distant 6 feet of separation, and would be very happy to set up time to talk with you about your child this summer, or the plans for our program.