Young Children & Teachers’ Experiences During COVID: Perspectives From the US and Scandinavia

Saturday, November 13, 2021

A panel of teachers from Scandinavia and the United States will discuss their experiences teaching in very different contexts during the pandemic, ranging from a forest school to a NYC public school to a small private school.  What were the challenges? What have we learned from all of this? What do we want to hold onto from this period?


Karina Bech

Karina is the Head of Gladsaxe Skovbørnehave (Forest Kindergarten) in Denmark. She has 15 years of experience as a social educator, a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and social education, and further studies in organizational management. Karina has travelled the world extensively and has lived in Greenland, Denmark, Zambia, Vietnam, and St. Martin. Her children have grown up as “third culture kids”.  She has, with great curiosity, been studying different school systems in her travels, comparing them to the Danish system. Karina has always tried to find and combine the best practices of many different philosophies, from Italy’s “Reggio Emilia”, British “learning corners” to the Scandinavian outdoor/Forest Kindergartens. Currently she is interested in how to integrate the UN Goals of Sustainability into children’s everyday lives, through living them out, rather than actually teaching about the goals. Her hope is for children to have a world in balance when they grow up – if possible. Karina believes through the children we can reach the parents and grandparents.

Rina Anderson

Rina is an educator and principal in two pre-schools in a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden. She has a Bachelor’s of Social Science with a major in International Child and Youth Education and Care and a Master of Social Science degree with a major in Education Child and Youth Education and Care. Rina has worked as an assistant teacher in elementary schools and in after school care, as a preschool teacher and educator, providing support and tutoring in preschools. She has a degree as a preschool teacher and in teaching English, grades 1-7. She is currently in the last semester of her Principal Education.

Cassandra Santos

Cassandra is the Lead Teacher for the Five/Sixes at the Early Childhood Center at Sarah Lawrence College, a small private preschool in Westchester County, New York. She began teaching at the Early Childhood Center in 2011, while a field work student at Westchester Community College. She continued to work as an assistant teacher at the ECC while she earned a degree in Childhood Studies from City College of New York and during her graduate studies in the Art of Teaching program at Sarah Lawrence College. Cassandra’s passions are literature, history, democratic teaching and learning, and nature. She is thrilled to be sharing those interests through her teaching.

Tasnim Azad

Tasnim is a kindergarten teacher at the Ella Baker School, a public pre-K to 8th grade school in New York City. Previously, she has taught preschool in a number of private schools in the New York area. In and out of the classroom, she is passionate about social justice issues, writing, reading, and photography. She is an alumna of Sarah Lawrence College's undergraduate and Art of Teaching programs.


Karen Eisenhut

Karen is a teacher at KonTiki Children’s School, a private friskole (freeschool), in Hillerød, Denmark. She primarily teaches English language classes to all grades (kindergarten - 9th grade). Karen is originally from New Jersey but earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education & Sociology at Whittier College in Los Angeles, California. In 2006, Karen studied Child Development in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS). Prior to moving to Denmark in 2018, Karen worked within the field of International Education and Study Abroad for 8 years. She has a Masters of Arts in Education with a focus in College Counseling and Student Development from Point Loma Nazarene University.