25 Jan Teacher Feature: Daphne Hicks
Getting to know one of Montclare’s veteran 2s teachers and long-time UWS resident, mom of two, Daphne Hicks!
Hi, Daphne. What first brought you to Montclare Children’s School and how long have you been here?
I came to Montclare Children’s School in the fall of 2007. Prior to that time, I had been raising my children, as a stay at home mother, just a few blocks away from Montclare. My children were becoming teenagers and it was time for me to go back to the career I had started before motherhood. I will always feel very grateful to Montclare for taking a chance on me after such a long hiatus from the classroom. My first year at Montclare, I worked in many rooms and experienced many different teaching styles. It was an excellent way to get back into the classroom.
What was your experience of raising two children in New York City?
I have loved raising my children on the Upper West Side of Manhattan which has come to feel like a cozy village. My children have had the huge privilege of growing up in a community that is rich with different cultures, religions, and lifestyles from around the world. It has been a real luxury having so much choice in schools and… restaurants!
When I discovered that my children had learning differences and challenges that would require specialized teaching skills, New York City offered a wide variety of options and support to us.
One of the best perks of raising children in NYC became evident when I realized that I would never have to worry about the perils of teenage driving.
You decided to go back to school for your MA, please tell us about that!
I let the prospect of graduate school intimidate me for many years. Ultimately, it was my love of teaching and my desire to move forward in this field that forced me to overcome my insecurities and take on the challenge. It has been an incredibly rewarding and validating experience to successfully pursue my MS degree in General and Special Education from Birth to Grade 2. I am pleased to say that I am currently in my final semester at Touro College!
Is there something you love to do that might surprise us?
I love to garden! I am the gardener for my building’s roof terrace and sidewalk tree pits. I also make all the lobby flower arrangements. It is wonderful to have an outdoor space in NYC where I could create a garden. It is my great pleasure to put together a different garden each year and watch the flowers bloom. I love feeling connected to nature and being outside.
In your many years of teaching, what do you feel you have learned?
I have learned that you never stop learning. It is never good to get entrenched in you habits. There is always a new level or nuance to be discovered and explored on any given topic. My students are constantly enlightening me to new and better ways of teaching, as long as I am paying attention. I am!
I am certain, beyond a doubt, that young children are highly sensitive and aware of what is happening and being said around them, far more than they are able to or choose to articulate in words. If you think that are you fooling a child, the child is usually fooling you.
Take my word for it, never under estimate a two-year-old.
Daphne Hicks is a 2s Head Teacher at Montclare Children’s School. A long-time UWS resident, gardener and mother of two, Daphne has long been a valued member of Montclare’s Teaching Community.