Meet Our Team

Our teachers and staff all share a passion for educating young children, and a dedication to supporting their development. In addition to being nurturing and responsible, our teachers are an experienced and educated group of professionals. Each member of our teaching team has earned a Bachelor’s degree in education or a related field, and many also have Master’s degrees.

All of our teachers understand that teaching children about emotions is instrumental in promoting adaptive emotion regulation patterns, which is crucial for social and academic success and well-being.

Dr. Donna Housman

Dr. Donna Housman, CEO & Founder

Dr. Donna Housman is the founder of Beginnings and a clinical psychologist. Dr. Housman is also founder of Housman Institute, a training and research institute in early childhood education, and the developer of the evidence-based emotional, cognitive and social early learning program, begin to ECSEL™ that is detailed in her article in the International Journal of Childcare and Education Policy. She holds a Doctorate in Psychology from Boston University and is Professor at the Department of Behavioral Neurosciences Graduate School, Boston University. She oversees all clinical training activities at Beginnings. Dr. Housman is a founding executive board member and treasurer of the Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health, a subchapter of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. She is also a member of the Children's Health Task Force, Coalition of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and serves on the board of the New England Center for Chidlren (NECC). She is Executive Director of Beginnings’ Board of Directors, comprised of professionals in education, psychology, finance and management. In addition to her work as an educator and clinician, her opinions and contributions have appeared in the Boston GlobeBoston Parents PaperCommonwealth Magazine, Fox 25, The New York Times, and WBUR. She is a presenter and speaker both locally and nationally, having presented to the American Education Research Association (AERA), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Zero to Three, and many others.



Credentials and Training

In addition to requiring Bachelor’s degrees, all Teachers at Beginnings School participate in our foundational training in promoting children's emotional, cognitive and social early learning before the school year starts, as well as weekly one-hour Clinical Trainings during the year. The Beginnings School Teacher Training program integrates theory with practice. It equips our teachers with the tools to help children develop in the context of a relationship with the necessary experiences for self-regulation, positive social interaction and academic success.

These trainings focus on the emotional foundations of early development, learning and teaching, keeping educators up to date on current child development, neuroscience, and education research. Further, reflective supervision facilitated by Dr. Housman allows teachers to continually develop their own social-emotional skills and to understand how to better foster those skills in the children they teach.

Ethical Standards

During the one-week orientation at the start of the school year or when a teacher joins the school, they receive a NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment.

Their commitment to this standard of ethics in the care of young children is vital to each teacher’s success at Beginnings.

Professional Development

Dr. Housman leads a comprehensive internal training program for all Beginnings faculty. Following a course syllabus established at the start of each school year, clinical seminars focus on various aspects of child development for ages 0-6 years. The program concentrates on emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development, with attention to both typical and atypical development and behaviors. This training adds up to more than 30 hours of in-service training per school year on topics related to child development and disabilities training, including developmental delays and disorders.

Teachers also participate in professional development beyond the core syllabus, including a week-long Teacher Training and Orientation session in August. During the year, teachers are encouraged to broaden their knowledge through a wide range of workshops, forums (often with guest speakers), school visits, and conferences that cover a variety of important early childhood topics. Upon returning from conferences or visits to other schools, teachers share their observations and findings during staff meetings.