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Anna Padgett



Recorded by

Anna Levy

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This interview with Anna Padgett took place via Zoom on July 22, 2020. Anna is an early childhood educator based in New York City. Anna began by sharing about how she grew up in Montessori schools in Texas. Her childhood was in Texas and Louisiana. Anna found a career in teaching after a number of years floating between 'soul-sucking jobs.' She has always been passionate about dance, and she is a musician. Music and songwriting comes up a lot for Anna before and during her time as a teacher. She has taught ages 2 through third grade, always going younger. She is enamored by young children because they are 'magic people.' She emphasized connection and formative years as huge parts of her teaching philosophy. She narrated the weeks before the pandemic and private family friends who had shared warnings before the public had more information, the rapid speed of her school closing, the belief that it would all be over quickly, and the absurdity (and later the creativity) of trying to engage and work with two year olds through a screen. She talked about the changing relationship and support from parents who shifted from appreciation to anxiety and frustration. The school she works in has well-off, mostly white populations. She narrated about the sense of importance she felt in her job because of the age of the children and how this time would affect them developmentally. She repeated many times how hard and stressful and traumatic different particular moments were. She loves small children for their openness and creativity and ability to just be curious, whatever the circumstance, which was the opposite of her feeling of performing cheerfulness even though she was very anxious and stressed.

Interviewer Bio:

Anna Levy is a researcher, strategic analyst, educator and oral historian. Most of her work is at the intersection of accountability politics, structural inequality, historical and collective memory, and the role of civilian movements in economic and political transitions. She uses mixed research methods to map out the pressures and incentives guiding complex systems--including the political economy of organizations or cities in crisis, militarized border bureaucracies, or the shifting legal and digital frontlines of collective civic action, among others. Anna uses oral history to bring out the multiple, intersecting experiences that make up the day-to-day of those systems in order to help inform advocacy, policy and power shifts. She teaches on emergency and disaster politics at Fordham University and is an avid capoeirista. Her website is |

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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.

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