Chums Teachers

Beth Loster 

I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2005 with a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature and a minor in German. Subsequently, I obtained my Child Development Master Teacher permit from San Francisco City College. I am licensed to both run and oversee the operations of an early childhood site, as well as teach.

I taught five years as a lead teacher at a cooperative preschool that serves an extremely diverse community in an urban area of San Francisco. We shared a physical space with a homeless shelter, walked through the city streets each day to get to local playgrounds, and took the bus on field trips all around the city. We were adventurers, scientists, and empaths. Community was a huge part of our immediate and greater experience. Beginning my teaching career in such an environment informed many of my goals as an educator. After I received my permit, I focused my continuing education on supporting dual language learners and children with disabilities, working with First Five, a resource center that provides resources to both families and teachers alike to support children in their formative years.

After moving to Louisville, I spent a year working in a classroom at another school that I tried desperately to evolve into the child-centered, emergent curriculum-based, environmentally-aware haven that is Chance School, to no avail. When I was offered an opportunity to work in the After School program at Chance, a seeming manifestation of my dreams, I was thrilled. Chance embodies all the elements I believe are essential in developing capable and confident children, who are invested in a lifetime of learning. My goal is to empower every child to be able to identify and meet their own needs, to learn empathy and self-care, and to marvel at the world around them. Spending my days with children is truly the most joyful and fulfilling career I could imagine.
Outside of school, I am most often doing yoga, drawing cartoons and writing, baking, and enjoying nature in any way possible. Being able to also do many of these things with students at Chance on a daily basis is a gift.

 

Alyson Thiel

I received my BFA in Studio Art from Denison University in 2008. Before landing in Louisville, I’ve worked with children and made art in France, Boulder, CO, and Chicago. For the past 4 years, I have taught here at Virginia Chance School as a Threes assistant with Maureen Harden and then as an art enrichment instructor. I am a practicing artist, making paintings and paper flowers. This year, I will be working as an early morning Chums instructor and teaching art enrichments!


I find I am ever drawn to the school’s child-centered philosophy, kind and talented teachers, beautiful campus, and capable and engaged students. I believe that through creative play, self-sufficiency, and embrace of the unknown, children have the space to fully learn and grow. I love watching children make art and introducing them to new materials, techniques, ideas, and history. Virginia Chance School is a place that allows me to do this and to work alongside these incredible children. I stumbled upon Virginia Chance School 5 years ago, interviewed the day before the first day of school, was thrown into the wonderful chaos on the first day, and haven’t left since!

In addition to teaching at Chance and making art and paper flowers, I enjoy spending time with my good friends, husband Shauvon, and cats Elliot and Evelyn. I also really love cooking big delicious meals for people I love, dance parties, exploring new places both home and away, and eating dark chocolate.