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Bronxville Professor Brings Parenting to Classroom

Jennifer Pinto came back to teach social work for one simple reason. She missed working with people.

“I love what I do and enjoy being in a school environment,” said the Eastchester resident. “The students make it easy.”

Pinto has been the social work program director at Concordia College in Bronxville for the past year and a half. Before that though, she took a hiatus from her career in social work to raise a family, which she says has helped provide insight on how to interact with young kids.

For courses including Foundations in Social Work Practice and her upper-level seminar class, Pinto has even brought her own children into work as a classroom case study. She says students have now been better able to develop eye contact, body language and other basic skills they will need on the job.

“Working with kids vs. elderly people, your approach is very different,” she added. “Eye contact is very different with a child, as is what you would do to make someone feel welcome.”

Her own children’s learning disabilities have also influenced her approach to teaching.

“The process of going through the system with your own children and having to advocate for them touches me personally. Experience has been a huge piece to getting them the services they need,” said Pinto.

When she first started as a social worker in the mid-1990s, she also worked a lot with autistic students and their families, an experience she now brings to the classroom.

“I think you’re in a particular place for a reason,” she said.

In her off-time, Pinto serves as Girl Scout leader for each of her daughters’ troops, and spends Sunday afternoons as a childcare volunteer for Village Lutheran Church in Bronxville.

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