Teacher Profile – Lisa

Lisa VanNess, a teacher in the infant room at the Early Learning Center for four years, has been employed as a caregiver and teacher for many years. Her enthusiasm for the infants is obvious. “I just love the babies,” she says. “Being with the infants is where I am happiest.” Though Lisa’s degree is in business and she was employed in that field after college, when her own children started school, she worked as a nanny for several years. Then for 15 years she was manager of the childcare programs at two fitness centers in Plymouth before coming to the Early Learning Center. If you visit the infant room you will usually see Lisa holding a baby, talking to him or her—always with a happy smile on her face as the little one responds. She likes to take the babies to the playground in the four-child stroller, do little projects with them, and simply play with the babies. All the while she sings much of the time. “There were very old songs that my mother would sing to me—Mister Moon, Baby’s Boat, and others,” says Lisa. She in turn sings those songs to the babies along with favorites such as Wheels on the Bus and Five Little Monkeys. One of the babies waves his arms when Lisa sings; others listen intently. Soon enough they will be singing along. Lisa says that all of her time spent as a teacher in the infant room is so much fun: “It’s wonderful to see babies learning to sit up, crawl, walk, and begin to play on their own. Every day something new happens.” Outside of work, Lisa spends time with her husband, Steve, her grown sons, and her yellow lab, Katy. She enjoys visiting with family on Martha’s Vineyard, reading novels, and walking on the beach.