Ava Mozaffari is an Alumna, class of 2000, and current teacher at The Washington Market School. Ava grew up in Tribeca with her twin brother and parents whose main language at home is Farsi. When Ava arrived at WMS, she knew three English words and phrases: thank you, please, and no. By the end of her year at WMS, she was able to speak fluent English, thanks to the help of her friend and classmate, Sina!
Growing up, Ava babysat the neighboring children in Tribeca, and that blossomed into a passion for working with young learners. During her time at Beloit College in Wisconsin, Ava majored in Anthropology and Psychology, with a focus on child development. During her college years, she worked as a student teacher for a kindergarten class, and pursued teaching through City Year post graduation. As so many of us know, once COVID hit, the question of “what to do next” was in Ava’s mind. Being back in Tribeca and right around the corner from WMS, she knew it was the right decision to apply to work as a classroom teacher at her alma mater.
Reflecting back, Ava says she truly began her teaching career at the young age of three while she spent her afternoons in classroom D and during After School with her classmate Sina who was shy and quite introverted. It was then that the teacher in Ava was born. She taught Sina how to play and make friends, and Sina helped Ava with her English. Little did she know, Ava would be back in The Washington Market School classroom 20 years later to teach children how to play and make friends!
Ava’s time as a student at The Washington Market School was incredibly transformative for her both as a learner and a budding teacher. Ava remembers the After School program where they were able to cook with their classmates and it helped both her brother and her become less picky eaters. She remembers the field trips that allowed her to step outside of her comfort zone, and reflects on loving the block corner in classroom D, which she recalls as being the same set up as it is today.
A memory that she still thinks about today is her mom coming into her classroom to celebrate Nowruz. Even as a toddler, she felt proud to be able to share her home culture with her class. For Ava, and so many of us, The Washington Market School is a pillar of Tribeca. She is proud to not only be an alumna but also a teacher at such a special and cherished school.