Hi my name is Charlotte. I am a mother, elementary school teacher and mediator living in Manhattan. I am passionate about Peace Education!

Growing up in England I had a very traditional education, as well as a loving family with two brothers and assorted pets. We lived in Gloucestershire, rural England. Although my upbringing was somewhat idyllic it was not without the usual family issues and teenage dramas. Boarding school was stifling for me! I rebelled and traveled around the world, eventually discovering teaching as my ideal career. I taught at a variety of schools in London and then for two years in Colombia, South America, before settling in New York. I have two beautiful sons aged 11 and 7 years old. Their father is French, I am English and they were born in New York City.

I teach at the United Nations International School in Manhattan and have worked there for over 15 years. The program is K through 12 and we have over 120 nationalities. I teach in the Junior School and it is a wonderful place.  I love working there.  A few years back I took a sabbatical to take a closer look at how we could use our Peace Tables and UN curriculum more effectively.  Amongst other things, I wrote a children’s story about the Peace Table and embarked on my career in Mediation. I still have to get my book published, but I am enjoying the journey!

I am passionate about traveling. I love to learn about other cultures, religions, foods and traditions. I wish I were better at learning languages but was thrilled that my French improved so much this Summer. My first degree was in Textiles and I still like to be creative – I knit scarves for friends but never sweaters! Fitness is a mental necessity for me.  I love running and biking and a fabulous new yoga studio has just opened in my building.  I dream of living Downtown but you can’t beat running in Central Park. It has taken 15 years, but I finally feel that New York is home.


My educational philosophy

I love teaching children and being in the classroom. When I am exhausted I sometimes think about other careers, then I walk into a quiet office and I can’t wait to get back to school! I learned from the first teacher I ever worked with the importance of having a life outside of teaching and taking a break from the classroom. I have been lucky enough to have afforded to do that and to work for a wonderful school that encourages teachers to learn and grow both professionally and personally.  I think our children are happiest when we ourselves, as parents or teachers, are happy and fulfilled.

In my classroom I try to create an environment that is organized, uncluttered and calm. I believe that children need clear expectations and boundaries within a happy and loving atmosphere, where they are not afraid to speak out or make mistakes.


My Parenting

As a mother I try to follow my intuition and be practical and down to earth. I probably should be more competitive but I just want my children to be happy. I think parents tend to over schedule their children. I am confused by the competitiveness of NYC. It seems as if your children, from a very young age, cannot just do an activity for pleasure.  Before you know it they are working towards a black belt, a recital, a tournament. It’s good to have goals but it seems a bit extreme at times.

My friends and fellow parents think I must be so calm and in control with my own children, just like I am in school…I wish! I have just as many difficulties with homework, bedtime, computer time limits and do not even mention the marathon of getting to the school bus at 7.30 am on time! I believe as parents we need to be a little selfish and look after ourselves. Our children need to fit in with us at times, and not the other way around. That’s definitely a more European approach.