I encountered Wave Hill while working as a special education teacher for a first grade class at P.S. 28 in the Bronx. My class participated in the Wave Hill School Partnerships Program, and the staff was so sweet to me and the children. I remember thinking “I want to work there,” because the educators seemed to be having the time of their lives. I liked their approach to working with children: Being calm, never shouting, and always smiling. I thought I would fit in. And when I tried on the dandelion costume in front of the class with all the children laughing and cheering me on, I knew that becoming a Wave Hill educator was my destiny.
So I applied and got the position. Hooray!
It’s a real privilege to work in such a beautiful setting and encounter so many different children from so many schools. It is an eye opening experience. One of the highlights is taking students for little hikes in the woodlands. Simple encounters with nature that I had taken for granted, such as crossing a puddle by balancing on a log, are thrilling and potentially life-changing moments for these children. They scream out in sheer joy at the prospect of being surrounded by pine trees. This is new to them. Oftentimes, students ask me whether there are bears in the woodlands. Although they are not home to bears, our woodlands do provide ample opportunities to spot birds and squirrels—an experience that the students find thrilling. In these ways, my position at Wave Hill helps me stay cognizant of the extraordinary beauty of nature and transmit my enthusiasm to a new generation.
Mirele Davis is a part-time Wave Hill Educator.