Old South Preschool Teachers
At Old South since 2009
Leslie’s career in Early Childhood Education began after graduating from the School of Fine Arts at Boston University. She started working as an assistant teacher at a private preschool, which sparked her love of teaching young children. Since that initial experience, Leslie decided to pursue her studies in ECE and began her professional career as an ECE Lead Teacher in 1993. Leslie has taught young children in a variety of settings, from private preschools to public school after-school programs. She brought her love of teaching and passion for creativity to the Blue Room at Old South Preschool in 2009.
Leslie has always been fascinated by how young children develop through the different stages of life. She particularly enjoys observing children being deeply involved in the creative process because of their pure ability to express themselves and their uninhibited approach while exploring new ideas. From easel painting or block building to dramatic play, Leslie feels privileged to be able to encourage different possibilities while scaffolding children’s creative ideas at Old South Preschool. It is amazing for her to see how innovative young children can be throughout their day. She finds them all so inspirational when fully immersed in the creative process.
At Old South since 2002
Summer has been at Old South Preschool since 2002. In many ways the Green Room feels like home to her, and she strives to make sure it feels that way for her students as well. Prior to Old South, she taught at a preschool in Newton as well as at a school for children with autism in Southborough. It was summertime when she interviewed for a job at Old South, so the classrooms were empty when she visited, but something about the building and the space just felt right. Summer loves Old South’s location in Copley Square, where it seems the possibilities for exploration and adventure are limitless.
Summer especially enjoys using children’s literature as a jumping off point for curriculum. When a particular story strikes a chord with the children, she finds it so exciting to search for other books by that same author together. The anticipation on their faces when they continually request a beloved book never gets old to her. For Summer, if she can have some small part in instilling a lifelong love for reading in her students, then she feels like she is doing her job. Her favorite part of this past school year was their new “Green Room Book Club.” Everyone had a copy of the same story and would “meet” in various locations around the building, and even outside, to read and discuss it. After several school readings, each of the children would take their book home to read with their families. A strong home-school connection has always been something that is important to Summer.
Summer has a passion for photography, which inevitably finds its way into the classroom. Capturing moments of discovery, incredulity, concentration, excitement, or joy is always special, and she thinks it is important for the kids to see themselves in action, represented on the walls of the school, as well as for families to be able to see glimpses of what is happening each day.
Being a teacher of 3’s and 4’s, Summer never ceases to be amazed at the amount of growth and development she witnesses during a school year. She finds it inspiring, energizing, and fulfilling to be able to actively participate in this on a daily basis.
At Old South since 2010
Saba has her Master’s in Education, and has been teaching in the field of early childhood education since 2007. She has been teaching at Old South Preschool since 2010. Saba enjoys the connection that she gets to make with her students and watching the social and emotional growth of the children that happens as the year goes on. She particularly loves the meeting time when the whole class comes together to sing, discuss ideas, solve a problem, read a book, play a game, or brainstorm about possible new investigations.
At Old South since 2005
Sharon began teaching full-time in 1996 working with two-year-old children, and then had the opportunity to work with children of various ages over the next few years. At Old South, she’s been a teacher in the Red Room with four and five year olds for fourteen years.
“Children change so quickly and it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to see them grow. When they first join the classroom in September, most of the children are shy and timid, and unsure of how to interact. Shortly after the year begins, the children’s individual personalities start to shine as they become more comfortable with their surroundings. It is a joy to see them develop, socially, emotionally, and physically. When a child faces a challenge, it is inspiring to watch as they persist until they achieve success. This past year, one of the children was struggling with fine motor tasks such as zipping his coat and gripping his pencil. At first he was reluctant to even try, but with continued encouragement he soon realized that he COULD do it. He even verbalized his plan “I’m going to practice all the time, even at home.” When he finally achieved his goal, he was proud and eager to share his accomplishments. The next morning, he ran into the classroom to announce the good news and demonstrate his expertise.”
Sharon particularly enjoys the lunchtime conversations that give students and teachers both an opportunity to share some of their personal experiences with each other. It is during this time that teachers really see and hear who the children are as individuals. Students enjoy sharing their stories and it is a treat to hear their take on life.
She knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a teacher. It was just part of her being from the very beginning. Sharon is happy to have finally found the place where she feels meant to be and considers her time at Old South to be an on-going privilege.
At Old South since 2021
Jane’s teaching career started in 1999 after receiving her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education in the Philippines. She is passionate about teaching, traveling, and learning about different cultures, which paves the way to becoming a global citizen. She has been privileged to work with students, parents, and teachers in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, China, Switzerland, and here in the U.S. Throughout the years of teaching learners ranging from one-and-a-half to 50 years old, Jane came to realize that she is most enthusiastic and inspired in the field of Early Childhood Education. So, she returned to school to finish her Master’s in Education, and wrote a thesis on Emergent Curriculum. One of her joys as a teacher is seeing children’s faces light up when they’ve discovered what they can do and create independently, or what they can accomplish together.
“Being given an incredible opportunity to guide young learners and support them in their daily experiences and skill development is a gift that I’ll be forever grateful for. In a toddler’s world, every day is a surprise, a learning process, a trial and error, a success story, and there is never a dull moment. It is an extraordinary adventure to be a part of a toddler’s developmental journey.”