Hampshire College Alum Aidn White 15F is Changing the Narrative in Early Childhood Education

Hampshire alum Aidn White 15F teaches infants and toddlers in a mixed-age classroom in Amherst, Massachusetts. In a recent interview with Teachers in Their Power, a storytelling project focused on changing the narrative about the teaching profession, White shares his background, passion for education, and journey into policy advocacy as a Teach Plus senior fellow.

White grew up in Wisconsin and moved to Massachusetts to attend Hampshire. While here, in addition to studying educational policy and philosophy, White took a work-study job at Hampshire’s Early Learning Center on campus. “I walked into the classroom and was greeted by the children… I rocked babies to sleep,” he recalled. “It only took me three or four shifts before I realized, ‘This is what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.’”

Currently, White works in a classroom with children 15 months and under. He focuses a lot on social and emotional learning, which includes teaching kids how to communicate, understand emotions, and respond to feelings appropriately. As a biracial, queer/trans, and disabled educator, White prioritizes creating welcoming classroom spaces that foster honest conversation in which providing help, care, and community to families of young children is paramount.

"The fact that people continue to do care work and teaching work, despite how that work is viewed in society, says something about human nature,” White said. “There is inherent goodness in people. People are good, and people help other people. And that is something to be respected, and not something to be looked down on the way that society has told us that it should be devalued.”

Read the whole interview.

Article Tags