My bio, “just the facts” version:
- Author of upcoming book on early childhood, The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need From Grownups (forthcoming, winter, 2016, Viking/Penguin: see more here.
- Lecturer on Early Childhood Education, Yale Child Study Center
- Certified teacher (pre K-2nd grade)
- Licensed Preschool director
- Occasional journalist (TIME.com, Washington Post, Boston Globe, etc.)
- Associate Master of Silliman College, Yale University, and former Co-Master of Harvard Pforzheimer House (aka “quirky” person who loves living with and mentoring four hundred not-always-fully-rational undergraduates)
- Early career in the public health sector
- Semi-marketable letters after my name (suggesting flair for personal reinvention/lateral career moves): A.B., Harvard College (anthropology); M.P.H, Johns Hopkins University (public health); M.A., University of Pennsylvania (communication), M.Ed., Lesley University (early childhood education)
- Rewarding career at the intersection of children, society, and schools (including long stint in parent volunteer vortex).
My Bio, narrative version:
I’ve spent many years — as a teacher, parent, preschool director, public health professional, college administrator, and now Lecturer in early childhood education at the Yale Child Study Center – trying to understand the impact of cultural and political forces on young people. Wait, you’re not riveted? Could I interest you in my treatise on… fair trade pornography? I have broad interests but I’m generally concerned with the things that shape young lives: politics, school boards, scientific findings , media, parents, religious institutions, and so on. You can find all of my work on children/young adults under the heading, Kids These Days (above) and my collection of posts related to women’s issues at The XX Report. For two years, I was a regular contributor to the Ideas page at TIME.com (occasionally sharing a byline there with my husband). I’ve published a few opinion pieces for CNN.com, the Financial Times, Boston Globe, WBUR’s Cognoscenti, Washington Post, and elsewhere, and you can read my blog posts from Huffington Post here. Here’s my take on child development, the importance of empathy, the politics of breast cancer, sex trafficking, why summer camp is a good thing, the death penalty, birth control, college binge drinking, my inexplicable Kristen Stewart crush, school shootings, and other topics here and here and here and here. I try to cast a wide net with my thinking, but I always come back to certain themes: How do we balance collective and individual responsibilities? What happens when children’s and adults’ interests collide? How do we live in a plural society without resorting to fist fights?
Spending an adult life with young people, as I’ve done, offers a weird mix of sublime and mundane. It’s impossible not to feel moved by the freshness and honesty of children’s dreams. It’s equally impossible not to feel burdened by the headaches and minutiae of shepherding kids into some semblance of adulthood. Most days, I try to focus on the dreams, not the headaches. Thanks for coming to my website. I’ve always enjoyed writing and it helps to imagine an audience, so please accept my sincerest thanks for stopping by. Yours truly, Erika
P.S. Stay tuned for my new book on early childhood, to be published by Viking Penguin early next year.
The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need From Grownups.