Fallon Erstine joined the Early Childhood Education team at The New School in 2010. This school year marks his tenth year as an educator. Fallon transitioned this year from the lead teacher role for one-year-olds to pre-kindergarten lead teacher.
"Each day, Ms. Fallon greets my daughter with kindest words and the biggest smile (I can tell from her eyes!) She helps my daughter enjoy school by listening to her, encouraging her when things are hard and by helping her reach her fullest potential academically." — Eboni, current parent
Q&A with Mrs. Fallon
What is unique about teaching at The New School?
The people— the kids, the parents, and my co-workers are really what makes The New School so special. I love running into families in the hallway or the parking lot and being able to catch up, even if for just a minute or two. It has been heart-warming to watch so many of my past students grow within the school. The collaboration and friendships with my co-workers make for a fun place to work and teach.
What drives you as an educator?
My favorite thing about being a teacher is seeing the kids grow and learn. I love watching their faces light up when they learn a new skill and feel that sense of pride.
What advice have you been given that inspires you?
I think the best advice I've received about teaching is to plan for possibilities. I feel that some of my best teaching experiences have come from teaching in the moment and following the children's lead. Even though I have a lesson plan ready to teach them weekly, a child's interest may lead us in a different direction. You have to be flexible as a teacher.
What is a challenge you have had to overcome in your career?
This year has been challenging due to the pandemic around us. I have always had such a strong connection with my classroom parents. It has been challenging for me not to be able to communicate with parents on a daily basis because I love sharing the little moments that happen throughout the day with my parents.
How do you remain a lifelong learner?
The children encourage me daily to be a lifelong learner. During each school day, we have so many different conversations about things that interest them and they almost always have a question about something they are curious about. At this age, there are a lot of who, what, when, where, why and how questions! These conversations often turn into teachable moments for both the kids and me.