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3-K for All, Early Childhood Education P.S. 323

Carine says she could never think of anything else that she wanted to be besides a teacher. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in early childhood education from Brooklyn College. Now in her 19th year as a NYC teacher, Carine Bruny is a teacher in NYC Public School's 3-K for All pilot program.

3-K for All is a Foundation for Future Success

Our city’s 3-K for All program is so important because our children at an early age come into a structured, safe, and loving environment. They start to learn language skills, critical thinking, and social skills. You see the growth and you see the difference in their confidence. As an early childhood education teacher, you’re not only thinking about the 10 months that they’re going to be with you, you’re thinking about them moving on. I’m a part of something bigger—and I always keep that in mind. On their first day, there’s that anxiety that we have to be aware of. They think, “What’s going on here? Why am I being left with these strangers? Where are my parents?” It’s very, very difficult. Now, I’m watching my students from last year go into pre-K and most of them say, “Hey, I’m a pro. I can do this.” Those are just beautiful moments that make you say, “Wow, I’m so powerful as an educator. My goodness, I’m powerful. Look at how these kids started. Look at what happened.”

It’s Not Always Easy, But It’s Always Rewarding

I tell new teachers you have to have patience and you have to have the energy for this work. Sometimes, as educators, we think, “I’m going to have the perfect class. Everyone’s going to sit down and listen.” Then, reality hits you, that it’s not always that way, and you can become discouraged. But there are always highlights in this field. One thing that I love the most is seeing one of my students years later. I was going to the store right around the corner and this young man comes to me and says, “Ms. Bruny?” and he gives me a hug. I said to him, “What do you remember in my class?” He said, “I remember you taught me good manners.” I left with a lump in my throat because those are the fruits of your labor. You realize the impact that you leave on a human when you work with them. They don’t forget. They remember you and they remember the little things that just maybe stays with them forever.

We’re a Family with One Goal—Supporting One Another

There’s a relationship in this building—with the teachers, the food service workers, the nurses. You cannot be in this field and close your door. I’m a product of other teachers. Consciously or unconsciously, I’ve adopted what I’ve seen other teachers do. As a family, we’re constantly uplifting each other. You could be in your room, and a teacher walks in and wants to share something with you. They may have a concern, or I might have a concern. We help each other. We get together sometimes, and teachers share whatever they want to share. There’s a teacher who does massage. I like to do yoga classes or sometimes we’ll get together and practice mindfulness. We’re a whole family with one goal, supporting one another. Those relationships keep me coming back to this building year after year.

We're fortunate we're in a diverse place here which is so wonderful. One thing to be aware of is the families' culture. I think that's just really important. Embrace it. Embrace it and celebrate it.