Joyce Portnoy-Eisman is a co-head teacher in Classroom 4. She has been at the JCC Nursery School since 2003, and a member of the school’s Leadership Team since 2009. Joyce has been the storytelling specialist in the JCC Havurah program since 2009.
Joyce has lived on the Upper West Side since she was 18 years old. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from New York University. Joyce has also done post-graduate work at Bank Street College of Education and Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Joyce had the opportunity to visit the Reggio-Emilia preschools in 2011. This experience, along with the work of Jean Piaget and Vivian Gussin Paley, had a profound influence on her teaching philosophy. In November 2014, Joyce was the recipient of the Vivian Gussin Paley Award for Early Childhood Excellence at the 92nd St. Y Wonderplay Conference.
Joyce says, “I love all aspects of early childhood education, and am especially drawn to books, story acting, language development, and the exploration of the ‘deeper’ topics that engage the minds of young children. I am inspired by the energy, joy, and amazing complexity of each and every child.”