Meet Ali Appel, Our Preschool Teacher
Ali Appel is the newest member of our Tobin Beaudet teaching team. Originally from Western MA in the Berkshires, Ali completed her Master’s in Early Childhood Education last May, and then joined our team to lead our Preschool class.
When you meet her, Ali is brimming with enthusiasm, open and warm, and likes to talk about young children and learning. She has always liked small children, and not surprisingly, since she comes from a very large family (the oldest of 6 and one of 22 cousins!), she feels at home in Tobin Beaudet’s nurturing, homelike setting. When Ali came here to interview, she remembers “I fell in love with the people I met here…the teachers were all very friendly, and they were down on the floor, playing and engaging with the children.” Ali values the family/community feel of the school, and she really likes that siblings in different classes can visit with each other throughout the day.
We asked Ali: what is Preschool to you? Ali used words like warm, nurturing, play and exploring. She enjoys this age group especially because of the play-based, exploratory and social emotional learning that takes place at this age: “This time is very important to build these skills – and they carry over to Kindergarten, third grade, and even later to high school and college – how comfortable they are relating and socializing with other people.” Ali calls her children her “sourpatch kids” with a smile: “they can be so warm and sweet, and they are so excited about learning and coming to school. They are refreshing!”
At Tobin Beaudet, the Preschool program is designed around exploration and play, but also has healthy doses of age-appropriate academic learning. Ali calls out the free play sessions that are scheduled twice a day, as they involve lots of dramatic play, fueling the growing creativity and imagination that runs wild at this age. Her most recent memory: “Yesterday I walked in, and I heard, You’re batman! And I went with it – I was batman.”