The Collaborative Teachers Institute (CTI) began in 2014 as a community of practice made up of early childhood educators from New Mexico, including classroom teachers, parents, program directors, art educators, and museum and nature-based program educators working within diverse contexts. CTI members share the common goal of creating interdisciplinary, aesthetic inquiries based on the interests of children, families, and educators. Using a reflective process through the study of pedagogical documentation, CTI members work to make the complexities of young children’s creative processes and inquiries visible.
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Helen is the Pedagogical Director of the Collaborative Teachers Institute, and has been involved with the CTI since it's inception in 2015. Helen has been working in the field of Early Childhood for over 15 years, and as an Early Childhood Center Director for 10 years in an arts-focused, Reggio-Inspired Preschool Program. She holds a BA in Studio Art and Art Therapy from the College of Santa Fe, as well as a MA from St. John's College. She has also served on the board of the New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children since 2016, and served on the task force for the Early Childhood Initiative through the Santa Fe Opera. Helen's work focuses on fostering collaboration and creativity in partnership with children, parents and fellow educators.
Gigi Schroeder Yu, PhD (https://art.unm.edu/profile/gigi-schroeder-yu/)
Gigi is an assistant professor in art education at the University of New Mexico and the issue editor for Innovations in Early Learning: The International Reggio Emilia Exchange. She is one of the founders of the CTI. Gigi has been working in the field of art education as a teacher, researcher, professional development provider, and higher education instructor for over 20 years. She holds a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the Curriculum, Aesthetics, and Teacher Education program at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. From 2012-2014 she served as New Mexico’s Program Manager for the Wonder of Learning project, a traveling exhibit from the early learning programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Taylor Etchemendy - Taos, New Mexico
UNM Taos Mentor Network Coordinator and Director of INSPIRE Bilingual Early Learning Center Taos
Juliet Staveley - Nature Inquiry Early Childhood Educator, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Mary Bliss - Director, Little Bird Studio, Corrales, New Mexico
Alison McPartlon - Director, UNM Taos Kids Campus
Pam Remstein PhD - Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education & Development (ECED) , Program Coordinator for Teacher Pathways: Early Childhood Education & Development, Associate of Science in Education, & Secondary
Tracy Jaramillo, Taos Imagine Museum
SOME OF THE PARTICIPATING CTI PROGRAMS:
American Indian Language Policy Research and Teacher Training Program, University of New Mexico
Garcia Street Club
La Casita Preschool
Kids Campus, Santa Fe Community College
First Presbyterian Child Development Center
Pando Little School
Rio Grande School
Santa Fe Community College, Kids Campus
Santa Fe Pre-K at the Santa Fe Public Schools
Santa Fe School for Arts and Sciences
Santa Fe Opera Early Childhood Initiative
Santa Fe Public Schools - PreK programs
Temple Beth Shalom Preschool
United Way of Santa Fe County
In 2014, the Santa Fe Baby Fund at the Santa Fe Community Foundation convened early childhood programs in Santa Fe to learn more about the shared services approach to running Centers and programs. As we discussed the challenges of running successful programs, two interests emerged for this group of teachers:
In 2019 The Collaborative Teachers Institute moved under the umbrella of Santa Fe Community College Early Childhood Center of Excellence. The CTI currently focuses on offering monthly opportunities for teachers to come together to engage in reflective practice together, discussing their roles in deepening and expanding young children's learning.