Lead Teacher, CMCC Early Childhood Learning Center
Jumoke Fatukasi immigrated from Nigeria to the Bronx twenty years ago. In Nigeria, she was working as a journalist, but when she came to the United States she had to change careers. In her role as the Lead Teacher of the BronxWorks Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center (CMCC) Early Childhood Learning Center, Jumoke has found a mission of the utmost importance.
“When I got to this I country, I realized that teaching here was not like teaching back home. I said, let me see how I can help, especially with migrant families from my background or similar. Children and parents may find it difficult to adjust to the different educational system here, which is why I wanted to help.”
Jumoke joined BronxWorks seven years ago. She started as a Home Instruction for Parents of Pre-school Youngsters (HIPPY) Program Instructor, before joining the CMCC Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) as a Teacher Assistant. Now for the past four years, Jumoke has been the Lead Teacher at the ECLC.
For Jumoke, teaching has become a life passion. She went back to school, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Education from Touro College last year, and is now planning to enroll at Lehman College for her Master’s in Early Childhood Education.
“Being a teacher is a two-way relationship. You teach and you help, but you also learn a lot. That’s what I love about this job. I learn skills, and it helps me in my own life, in my home, and helped me raise my children.”
Over ninety percent of her class are immigrant children, and because she feels attuned with their experience as an immigrant to the U.S., Jumoke works hard to create a welcoming environment where children and parents alike can talk to her. Jumoke is also motivated by her colleagues and supervisors, who work together and encourage one another to provide the best early childhood education possible to their classes. “We work as a family,” Jumoke says, “We have collaboration, we work to prepare for the children every week, and the children can see that.”
Outside of work, Jumoke is a lifelong student. She loves to read and uses it to further her professional and personal development. She enjoys taking vacations with her family. As a family, they also participate actively in their church.