Lead Teacher: The Fawns
Gillian joined Middle Way in 2020 as the lead teacher in the Fawns class, which includes ages 3 to 5. Gillian’s background in the arts brings a creative flair to our youngest group, and we often hear her lovely ukulele as she sings to the students. Gillian is keen to delve into the spiritual aspects of our curriculum and make connections with her many years of experience in theater and movement.
Being part of the Middle Way community has been a wonderful and unique experience. As lead teacher for the Fawns class, I’m always amazed to see how each day brings new adventures. The children are a constant source of joy and wonder, and teach me valuable lessons about staying present. I am honored to be accompanying them through their first experiences at school and to help uphold the school’s mission.
As a teacher, I look for ways to use my love of language, music, and dance. It always surprises me to see how children’s imaginations take flight in their play, or when inspired by songs, storytelling, art, music, and movement. This is a cornerstone of our days together in the Fawns class.
I have worked in education for many years, across all divisions in New York, Italy, and Switzerland. I started as a preschool teacher at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn, where I developed a deep appreciation for early childhood development through their progressive education lens, a view which has permeated all my subsequent teaching experiences. Since those foundational years at St. Ann’s, I’ve taught Drama and English in independent schools, acted in bilingual children’s productions, sung in jazz clubs, directed and choreographed countless shows at schools, and founded a small performing arts company, active in Switzerland for 6 years. After nearly 20 years abroad, my husband Patricio and I returned to the States, settling in the beautiful Hudson Valley.
I have three grown children living across the globe in New York, Rome, and Lugano. I cherish the occasions when my family can converge in one place at one time. At home, you can find me listening to music, singing, practicing the ukulele, working my veggie garden, cooking, and experimenting with sourdough baking. Having friends come to share food with us is a joy! I often read and listen to books about Buddhism that inspire me. I find solace in contemplating the truths that the dharma offers.