My First Week At Tobin

An inside look by our new Program Director, Alexandra Maider

I cannot imagine a more welcoming, friendly, and warm school than Tobin Beaudet! In the past I have worked with all ages, but most recently with high school students. It’s so nice to come back to early childhood education at School Street and revisit this bright young perspective. To refresh my memories from past jobs in Kindergarten and Elementary programs, I’m reading The Importance of Being Little (stay tuned for my next blog post about this wonderful book!)

It has been such a joy getting to know the students, staff and parents this week. From visiting classes and afterschool choices to chatting with families at pickup, I’ve experienced so much in my first week! Here are some of the highlights:

On Wednesday, I was welcomed into the JK Open Circle: I can’t believe Open Circle has been used as a social-emotional teaching method for almost 30 years! It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in Ms. Featherman’s classroom as a second-grader at Wheelock School in Medfield, MA, using Open Circle as a community building discussion tool. When I heard our Junior Kindergarten class was utilizing Open Circle, I was very impressed.

Miss Laleh read from a book about different types of people, and I watched our students identify their own similarities and differences with each other with such beautiful openness and compassion. I learned that Mackenzie loves ice cream, and so do other kids in Junior-K. I learned Emily has a dog, and Harold likes animals, too. I can tell I’m going to fit in here just fine!

Last week I also visited the half-day Kindergarten class and read the class a silly story called Duck on a Bike. I met the 3 different friendly Sadies and watched students learn new movements with their bodies in yoga. Kindergarteners Vanessa and Lucy were kind enough to recommend some local spots to try, like Junction Ice Cream and Volante Farms. Since I’m new to Needham, these suggestions were so useful. Though I grew up in Medfield, I attended undergrad at McGill University in Montreal and completed a Master’s degree out at UMass Amherst, so it’s been awhile since I’ve been in this area. Thank you for sharing your favorites.

At Afterschool, I visited all the different fun and exciting choices Tobin Beaudet has to offer each day: Comic Book Club, Science Club, Arts & Crafts, Guitar, Puppet Shows and more. Each afternoon is so different – I love watching kids get excited about choosing their activities in the afternoon meeting.

Overall, I’ve learned Tobin Beaudet is a fun and happy place, where children are welcome to explore their interests. The teachers create meaningful learning environments, showing dedication to their engaged and curious students.

It’s been a pleasure getting to see all the families at drop-off and pick-up. I feel so lucky to be joining such a wonderful community. Thank you to everyone for making this a fun and comfortable transition!


Nurturing, Educating, and Empowering Children