When I was a little girl, I first felt the thrill of teaching when I came home from school and taught my younger sister the seven vowels on a little chalkboard in our shared bedroom. Little did I know that this moment would lead to tutoring my third-grade friend from Vienna and then down a road of supporting students as my lifetime love and professional passion. Now my teaching career spans 17 years, in both public and private schools across the country--from the mountains of Virginia to the farmland of Indiana; on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and out to the Verrazano Bridge of Brooklyn. I've loved guiding students to new landscapes of discovery in writing, literature, poetry, drama, history, public speaking, music and the arts. There is magic in the classroom, and now I educate young people from another angle, through academic coaching. Certified in Social & Emotional Intelligence, I spark learning in a supportive space outside of school, so that students can better meet demands inside the classroom--through risking new ideas and experimenting with their authentic voice.
The Clifton Corner was created in 2006 in Park Slope and supports neighborhood families in a myriad of ways as they navigate the journey of learning in a complex and demanding city. Through training and certification in Emotional Literacy during two years' work at Yale University, my students benefit from guidance with more than just intellectual pressure and academic demands. I teach tools of Social and Emotional Intelligence that provide a foundation for new choices and a better sense of self. Corner Clients develop self-awareness, personal responsibility, and a renewed joy of intellectual discovery. I inspire students to engage in the most important angle of learning: to discover and then celebrate their best selves. The Clifton Corner is not just an academic coaching center--it’s a special space where we celebrate each individual’s unique gifts. Through my eclectic journey to NYC, I found that I belong in Brooklyn, beyond the box, and want to share the most essential lesson: we never have to settle for someone else’s definition of who we can become. Long ago, two of my favorite students once identified what they saw as my greatest weakness: “Miss Clifton, you see the best in everybody, even when it’s not true.” On the contrary, I believe that because I see creative possibility, individuals can’t help but grow, learn, and reach new academic and personal dreams!
Someone once said that "Wisdom begins in wonder," and I believe that our potential is limitless through love, the foundation and focus of each of my sessions with students. I look forward to connecting with your family and meeting your fascinating children as we seek to create tools for an exciting and innovative education. It's an honor to serve our Brooklyn community as a confidence coach, teacher, mentor, and friend to Kids at the Corner.
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