Meet Our Early Childhood Education Students
Get to know our students and alumni from the Early Childhood Education program.
Joseph Leblanc grew up in San Jose. He attended Sonoma State as an undergraduate and earned his B.A in Human Development in 1999. He worked at several colleges, including Santa Clara and San Jose State University. Leblanc's mother was a preschool teacher; helping out in her classroom made him realize he also wanted to work with kids.
Even while in school he knew he wanted a career working with people and not a desk job. During his undergrad he worked in-home care and early childcare. There are not a lot of men in his field and he enjoys the challenge that comes with being a minority.
One day Joseph hopes to run his own school. He decided to pursue a Master's in Early Childhood Education so he could start an outdoor/mature program for kids. He now works at the SSU Children's School and is partnering with Lia Thompson-Clark working on opening a new school that is more lab school oriented, sustainable and outdoors.
He likes working with families and people. He also hopes to be an advocate for more men to join his field and find the balance. He loves being at the Children's School and is challenged by trying to align his philosophies with the school's philosophies.
Tamsen Fynn attended Smith College in Massachusetts, where she studied psychology with a minor in gender studies. In 1994 she graduated and moved to the west coast, settling in the Bay Area where she's now lived for almost twenty years.
She chose a career in Early Childhood Education because she's always loved working with very young children. She's particularly fascinated by the development that occurs between birth and three years old, and has focused on working singularly with this age group. As a singer and musician, Tamsen has combined her passions to teach early childhood musical education.
Primarily, she sings children's folk songs, adapting them to each lesson plan, while using children's ideas to direct the play during music. She also integrates movement and music, to help internalize rhythm and sound at a young age. Lastly, she uses the children's names in as many songs as possible, conveying to children their value and worth in the community of music makers.
Tamsen intends to continue teaching music in early childhood programs while refining her approach, branching out into developing educational materials, and writing about early childhood music philosophies.