This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview was conducted remotely via Zoom conference with Maija Reed on March 23, 2020 from her home in Hudson, New York. This is Maija's fourth interview with the Education Narratives Project, having previously participated in Phases 1, 2, and 3. Maija works as an independent early childhood educator, working with infants and toddlers in non-traditional learning spaces. Her work as a private educator was halted at the onset of the pandemic. Since that time, she has been serving as the Youth Commissioner of the City of Hudson (entering her second year in that position). Maija describes herself as an "early educator care provider." She also sees herself as someone who strives to help people feel comfortable, welcomed, trusting, and cared for by being a keen observer and listener. She sees this moment in time (one-year anniversary of the lockdown) as one of reflection. She remembered what it was like last year when she was called upon to jump-to-action in her local government role and how that experience triggered her anxiety; how she was highly engaged and exhausted in caring for her community. She describes her current challenge of pulling the pieces back together of her pre-pandemic work. She expressed her concerns over the complexities of opening back up (vaccines, pre-existing conditions, fear). She sees her most important contribution at this moment is to be fully present for the children and for herself. She recognizes the valuable role of media coverage in amplifying the issues around early childhood. She wonders often about "how the children are doing" and is concerned that this info is not being gathered, collected, and made available to the extent it can be. She sees this as something that must be taken very seriously--that mechanisms are developed to share and evaluate how children are actually doing.
This interview may be of interest to those who want to learn about very early childhood education during the COVID-19 pandemic, self-employed educators, the impact of the pandemic on very young children, and planning for the return to the physical educational space.
Nicolette Lodico is an archivist and knowledge manager who specializes in helping people and organizations—particularly those whose work supports the public good—establish sustainable practices for managing both what they create and what they know so they can make informed decisions, be transparent, and minimize risk. She helps organizations tell the story about their work, to reflect on and learn from past work and share that knowledge with those who will benefit, and to provide opportunities for future researchers and historians to examine and evaluate this work. Currently, she is the director of global information and knowledge management at the Ford Foundation where she is overseeing a comprehensive, multiyear oral history project to gather the reflections of key former staff. She also is the former president and emeritus board member of the Technology Association of Grantmakers, a non-profit organization that cultivates the strategic and equitable use of technology to advance philanthropy. She earned her M.L.S. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
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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.