Teacher/Researcher – Outdoor School
Lesley joined the Voyagers’ team in the Fall of 2016, bringing with her a variety of teaching techniques collected through her experience instructing French at Rutgers University and English at three urban middle schools in Paris, France. Her focus on immersive Constructivist activities in the classroom help students acquire a wider and more innate understanding of foreign language; allowing the students to learn in the same manner as they did their native tongue. She holds a Masters in French Literature and a BA in both French and English from Rutgers University with a focus on the Biological Sciences: highlighting her personal passion for ecological health.
Lesley spent summers in college working as a Surfguard at Sandy Hook, Gateway National Recreation Area and every other available moment outdoors. An avid hiker, mountain biker, road cyclist and camper who is a Monmouth County native, Lesley does not limit her outdoor adventures to this region. She has an intimate knowledge of many State Parks here in New Jersey and has toured, camped and hiked through many of the great National Parks out West including Yosemite, Yellowstone, Arches, the Grand Canyon, and Zion. In 2014, following a graduate term abroad, she cycled from Leuven, Belgium to Nice, France; camping in the Belgian and French countryside along the way and finally traversing the Alps before arriving at her destination. She is a strong advocate for cyclists and currently directs the Women’s Cycling Club and Girl-Powered Program at Second Life Bikes in Asbury Park, designed to empower more women and girls through holistic well-being to ride in such a male-dominated arena.
Lesley’s education in the literature, philosophy, and poetry of two languages, the instruction of foreign language itself, and profound experiences in nature both here and abroad have imparted a breadth to her thinking which allows for a greater understanding of the many languages of the individual learner. Taking cues from the Reggio Emilia philosophy, Lesley seeks to create space for her students to express the synthesis of new knowledge in whichever medium they require.
L’enfance a des manières de voir, de penser, de sentir qui lui sont propres, rien n’est moins sensé que d’y vouloir substituer les nôtres. ~ Childhood has its own way of seeing, thinking, and feeling, and nothing is more foolish than to try to substitute ours for theirs.
Jean – Jacques Rousseau