Why I Teach: Betsy Leschinsky, Lower School SEED & Library
To know Betsy Leschinsky (or Mrs. L, as the kids like to call her) is to love her. She is humble about her role in Shipley becoming a leader in social emotional learning, but Mrs. L’s sweet, gentle demeanor and small stature belie a giant in our community.
Mrs. L’s father, the beloved Lower Merion coach and Ashbee Lacrosse co-founder Norman Treinish, stoked in her (and her sister, PreK teacher Lauren Weitzel) a desire to work with children. Though her love of cooking (inspired by her mother) and an early career as a chef would pull her away from Wheelock Teacher’s College, Mrs. L eventually found her way to education—and Shipley—when she joined the summer camp as an arts counselor.
"I love the pure joy of the children when they are discovering something new. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
After working as an associate teacher for a few years, Mrs. L began teaching “Friendship Class,” an early precursor to what we know today as SEED (Social Emotional Ethical Development). With storybooks and art-making central in her lessons, Mrs. L helped pioneer a curriculum to help students learn to identify and work through their emotions, make responsible decisions, gain self awareness, and build relationship skills, as well as to use character strengths, mindfulness, and manners.
“I hope that my students will be kinder and gentler with each other; that when they go out into the world, they treat people with respect and use their manners,” she explains. “I love it,” she says about working with children. “I am so lucky because I have the best job in the world.”
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.