Early Childhood Educator. Reading teacher. Writer. Consultant.
I am early childhood educator, reading teacher, and New York Times bestselling author of The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need From Grownups. I’ve been a preschool teacher and preschool director, and I am currently licensed in the states of Massachusetts and Vermont to teach children in pre-K through 2nd grade. I am also certified as a structured literacy teacher through the Center for Effective Reading Instruction and the International Dyslexia Association. For several years I was on the faculty of the Yale Child Study Center, where I taught undergraduate courses in child development and education policy. I’m passionate about supporting families to give their children the best start in life, and I am especially committed to improving language and literacy outcomes in children who are at high risk for reading difficulty, including children with a history of trauma. In addition to my private practice as a reading tutor, I offer professional coaching and program evaluations in preschool and child care settings. I’ve published in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, TIME.com, CNN, and The Boston Globe. I am a Harvard College graduate and have master’s degrees in early childhood education and public health. If you are interested in arranging a reading tutor for your child or professional development in your school, please contact me at Erika.Christakis@gmail.com.
The Importance of Being Little was selected by the Washington Post for its “Notable nonfiction books of 2016"
“Her new ideas, analysis and methods serve to guide and support teachers, policy makers and parents in understanding the inner lives of children to stimulate their learning and 'help young children be young children'.”
—New York Times
“For a guide to keen-eyed appreciation of preschoolers’ amazing powers, you can’t find a better one than Christakis.”
—Ann Hulbert, author of Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children
“Superbly written...invites readers to sample the science of learning and helps to close the gap between what we know and what we do.”
“One of the most intelligent, compelling, and funniest books I've read about children in a long time. Her prose sparkles...Her critique of America's early childhood programs is sharp, but humane...we abandon (Christakis's argument) at our peril.”
“What kids need from grown-ups (but aren’t getting)…an impassioned plea for educators and parents to put down the worksheets and flash cards, ditch the tired craft projects (yes, you, Thanksgiving Handprint Turkey) and exotic vocabulary lessons, and double-down on one, simple word: play.”
“A brilliant, altogether original, impeccably researched but also deeply heartfelt call to action. ”
—Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness and Driven to Distraction
“Deeply insightful, scientifically grounded, and utterly original.”
—Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness
“A serious work of research that also happens to be well-written and personal . . . engaging and important”
—The Washington Post
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