Catherine Persad is in her first year of teaching and has begun her career as an educator with The New School as a Kindergarten teacher.
“We love Ms. Catherine! She inspires a grown-girl engagement and confidence from our daughter, who is learning so much from her kindergarten class this year! We are grateful that Ms. Catherine has cultivated an environment that promotes learning, curiosity and courage from her students.” — Melissa H., current parent.
"I love Ms. Catherine because she teaches me new things every day." — Alexa Y., current student.
Q&A with Ms. Catherine
What is unique about teaching at The New School?
The small class sizes! By having a small class, I am more able to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of each student. I can meet with students on an individual basis more often, and plan lessons for specific students. I am also able to get to know the students better and see them as growing people instead of just students that I teach.
What drives you as an educator?
What drives me as an educator is seeing the growth that happens in your students. Getting to see the students that your cherish become better learners is amazing, but seeing your students become better humans is incredibly fulfilling. It is my job as an educator to make sure that I am guiding students to be critical thinkers so that they can go off and be just citizens in our society.
What advice have you been given that inspires you?
A professor in college told my class, "When things get difficult, focus on small wins of moderate importance."
Small wins can be anything from just ticking something off a to-do list, or making it through the day, but all of the small wins add up to something more meaningful. Small wins are even more important in this crazy time that we live in since we are facing more challenges than we ever have before.
What is a challenge you have had to overcome in your career?
Being that this is my first year of teaching, I'd have to say that COVID and the social unrest in our society are two very big challenges that I am facing right off the bat. However, I am happy to be working at a supportive school where we are being responsible about COVID measures and to work with supportive staff in implementing a culturally responsive curriculum. It is very difficult to teach kindergarteners during a time like this, but I am thrilled that my students are so resilient and are learning so much regardless.
How do you remain a lifelong learner?
I believe that as an educator, it is so important to practice what you preach, and since I am trying to instill a passion for lifelong learning into my students, that I too need to be a lifelong learner. I remain a lifelong learner by seeking out opportunities to better myself as an educator. Whether that means attending additional professional development opportunities or asking colleagues for advice, everything that I am doing is for the profit of my students.