*About the founder*
Nicole Nelson brings a wealth of experience and a boundless passion for teaching to From Wonder. For thirteen years, she has worked as a full-time head teacher of young children, and for the past nine years has overseen a thriving, vibrant pre-K classroom at a Manhattan private school.
Nicole’s immersive teaching style puts children first. By allowing her students to help guide the development of their own curricula, she fosters their investment in learning, and shows them that their ideas matter. Driven by her extensive knowledge of child development and passion for art, Nicole’s unique and creative project-based curriculum encourages students to dive fully into the themes they explore. Every project that they engage with - whether in outer space, deep in the ocean, or inside the human body - gives her students a personal, fun, and lasting stake in the learning process. And yet, each project remains grounded in a larger theme, carefully tailored to cultivate a greater understanding about the world.
Nicole’s love for her work keeps her teaching style fresh and current, and allows her to remain focused on the individual growth of every child. She pours her whole heart into helping children develop a passion for learning, and is endlessly astounded by the depths of their curiosities and imaginations. At the same time, Nicole is deeply attuned to every child’s learning styles and development. Her experience in both integrated and special education classrooms has shown that children learn skills at their own pace, in their own ways. Because learning comes most naturally when driven by personal interests, Nicole uses children’s own ideas, in whatever form they may take, to target their particular needs. Her understanding of how to foster children’s strengths and nurture their weaknesses is truly her most valuable and unrivaled asset.
When she's not teaching, Nicole enjoys creating new projects for herself. This includes Cloak and Blender, a blog developed from combining two of her greatest passions: food and costuming. Here Nicole aims to inject humor into the smoothie scene - transforming herself into known characters and public figures along with creating pun-based smoothie recipes. Through Cloak and Blender, Nicole aims to empower people to feel like their best selves, in whatever shape or form that takes. Read more here
Nicole is looking forward to growing in new directions and creating something wonderful with your child.
We had the good luck of finding From Wonder while looking for summer classes to enroll our 4-year-old daughter in this summer. She enrolled in the “Everyday Heroes” class and it was without question the highlight of her summer!! Nicole is an extraordinarily talented teacher and we felt so lucky that our daughter was able to have this experience. The classes and workshops that Nicole creates are unparalleled. From Wonder has such a unique offering, and each class is layered with such inspiring curriculum and materials. Nicole is a very hands-on teacher and quickly understands the unique talents each of her students possess and how to maximize their potential. After every class, our daughter came home full of excitement and energy telling us about what she had learned and what the class was making, and how much fun she was having. Every week, Nicole sent a recap of what the class did that week with pictures so that parents could feel like they were participating right alongside their children. We were continually impressed by what the class was doing and the weekly update helped create additional conversations at home to foster the new learning that was happening in class. Nicole stayed in very close contact with me throughout the duration of the class to make sure our daughter had everything she needed and we greatly appreciated her frequent communication and close attention to the details to make sure everything was running smoothly. It is obvious that she loves her profession and the success of her little students. When we finally saw in person the creations the class had all made we were blown away! We loved every moment of this class and were so sad when it ended. Thanks to the class our daughter walked away with a better sense of herself and her unique talents and how to harness the strength and bravery she has within her. Such amazing lessons for the rest of her life, coupled with new skills in arts and crafts. We cannot wait to work with Nicole again in future workshops and classes this coming year and next summer!!
My 4 (just turned 5) year old son absolutely loved the Everyday Heroes class that he took with Nicole this summer!
Everything from the initial course description, to registration, to attending classes, to knowing what was done in each class from Nicole's weekly email updates--all explained clearly and accurately so that we knew exactly what to expect and could talk about the day with our son to discuss the things he learned with Nicole.
I couldn't believe the amount of activities and creativity Nicole facilitated within the time she was with the kids. It was a dream to have a class that included painting, drawing, reading, writing, storytelling, making smoothies, and social-emotional learning. And Nicole does it so seamlessly, allowing the kids to be creative and enjoy the time with each other. It was play at its best!
But what I loved the most was seeing everything my son created by the end of the course--which included a superhero cape, mask, tools, artwork, a self-portrait, book (that Nicole had hard bound!) and the beautiful photos of my son in his costume in front of a backdrop the kids had created. Nicole not only took the photos but printed them out for us to frame! My son looked like a real superhero and had the biggest smile on his face.
Nicole is clearly a seasoned, skilled, and enthusiastic educator whose kindness and patience with children is rare. She really, truly understands kids and gives them the tools and encouragement young ones need to flourish with new challenges. I can't recommend her courses enough--I'm hoping we can take another one with her soon!
“Our family has known Nicole for the past 3 ½ years and our daughter was most fortunate to be one of Ms. Nicole’s students. Her reputation precedes her. When I first learned she would be our daughter’s teacher I was over the moon. I had heard countless stories about what an amazing teacher she was and how she continued to go above and beyond in her role. Nicole is a teacher who is few and far between. She exhibits calm, grace, poise, love and light and she touched our family’s lives as well as countless others we know. With her extensive background in the arts as well as education, Nicole brought enrichments at the pre-K level that are unprecedented I am sure. The level of creativity that was encouraged and demonstrated was truly incredible to be a part of. Our daughter began the year quite shy and so quickly she began volunteering and presenting in front of the classroom. She could not wait to go to school each day and every day I saw her develop and grow in so many ways. Nicole shows dedication, passion, commitment, intelligence, organization, leadership, savvy, and creativity. Everything she does is done in a kind and loving manner leading by example. Our time with her as a teacher was truly amazing and we feel so blessed to have had the experience we did with her. Our daughter carries around each day with her all that she learned from Nicole and we will forever cherish that. If Nicole has not already done it I can assure you with her tenacity and spirit she will figure it out and find a way better than has ever been performed before.”
“My son had the great fortune of having Nicole Nelson as his teacher. We were astounded by the inspired creativity that infused her early childhood curriculum and the amount of social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth that he experienced under her care. During a global theme exploration created by Nicole my son was so inspired by his peers’ cultures that he came home one night and announced, “I’m half Chinese, you know” -he has blond hair and hazel eyes. Throughout every point in the year, Nicole wove in age-appropriate academic skills such as fine motor development, literacy, and math within these curricular explorations. We are beyond grateful that our son had the opportunity to work with this extraordinarily talented and dedicated educator !”
"For Nicole, You make me feel like a heart. Everyday. I love you"