Nearly eight years ago I started my journey in graduate school at Bank Street in New York. I was so excited to dive into their child life program and absorb as much knowledge as I could. I had no idea what an unbelievable graduate program that they really had. The commitment and passion that the professors, advisors and directors have is contagious to the students. They really care about each person attending their school and help to scaffold their learning in a diverse, nurturing and hands on environment.
Last night, my ten month old and I joined a child development class taught by Deb Vilas. For the first thirty minutes of their class my son and I were observed by the students and I answered questions regarding his development (language, attachment, motor skills). It was a great experience. I loved watching the eagerness in all the students as they were entering their graduate programs. It was also very nice to see them coo over my little peanut. Who wouldn’t, he is adorable!
One of the things that I love about Bank Street is that they approach teaching with involving the whole community. For instance, instead of just teaching basic child development from text books and multimedia, they include parents and caregivers to give their experiences and information to the students. This is a great way for students to learn in a different way and they are receiving valuable information from the experts themselves, the parents.
I’m incredibly passionate about the child life field. I think that it is a profession that is not only needed in the health care enviornment, but pretty much anywhere involving children and families. These feelings were fueled from attending Bank Street. I am a confident certified child life specialist and a parent who uses more empathy, understanding and patience becasue of what I learned at Bank Street.
I graduated six years ago and I am still in contact with my fellow grad students/friends and my advisors. I have called them for support, information and additional resources. The director of the child life program, Troy Ragsdale-Pinkney and advisor/instructor, Deb Vilas have established a phenomenal child life graduate program. I would highly recommend any perspective students to contact them. The other graduate courses at Bank Street are just as amazing!