Great Starts Instructor

Tara Coffin

Classes Taught:
Newborn Care
Life with Baby
Adoptive Family Classes

With a background in Public Health Research and Special Education, I have been working with new families in different capacities for the last 10 years, and teaching expectant families for the last four years as a perinatal educator. I received both my Masters in Education in Early Childhood Special Education and my Doctorate in Public Health Genetics at University of Washington, and completed my lactation education training at Bastyr. Prior to my work in perinatal support and research, I worked as a second mate and educator aboard a number of different tall ships across the globe.

New families start from what they know and build bridges to less familiar content, making new knowledge meaningful and constructing their own understanding of the material. It is my job as an educator to ensure they have access to the inclusive environment and tools they need to complete this task.

Family, hobbies, etc.
I live with my preschooler, partner, and fuzzy friend on a boat. We enjoy spending time outside as a family going on walks and exploring our neighborhood. I’m also an avid runner, and just generally love to be outside, be it rain or shine.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I thoroughly enjoy discovering new ways to present material, to make it more accessible, be it through hands on activities or terrible jokes—there’s nothing better than seeing a family get excited about something in class, because we worked together to find a way they could “connect” to it.

Which 4 adjectives would you use to best describe your teaching style:

Is there anything you’d like your students to know about you, or to do prior to coming to class?
I really enjoy when families bring their questions to class—this allows me to tailor class material to best fit the needs and interest of the group. I also greatly appreciate it when students take the time to provide feedback, to allow continued learning and improvement!

What is the most important thing that you hope your students will take away from your class? 
Knowledge about appropriate community resources

What would you like to be doing in 5-10 years:
Working with families in the perinatal period in some capacity.