Yeshnaya Dougherty received her M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University and her B.A. in Environmental Studies from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. Passionate and inspired by the curious minds of young children, Yeshnaya’s teaching practice and philosophy are largely shaped from her work with the Reggio Emilia Approach and her experience teaching in progressive schools in New York City, where she has worked as a classroom teacher for children from eighteen months to eight years old. She finds great joy in sharing her enthusiasm and experience with other educators and has been consulting for Teaching Beyond the Square since spring of 2015, working with a variety of public and private schools and presenting at early childhood conferences.

2018 Early Childhood Professional Development Workshops

These professional development workshops, facilitated by Yeshnaya Dougherty from Teaching Beyond the Square, are open to all Greater MetroWest early childhood educators and directors. Attend one, two, or all three!

These presentations are designed for early childhood educators who are looking to learn more about and delve into Reggio Emilia inspired practice and to further their understanding of developmentally appropriate inquiry-based learning. We will examine core tenets of the Reggio philosophy including the image of the child, environment as the third teacher, documenting children’s learning, and what it means for teachers and students to co-construct curriculum.

Cost of registration is $45 per workshop.

The Role of the Teacher

*Registration is closed for this workshop.

Wednesday, October 31, 9 a.m. – noon
Congregation B’nai Israel, Millburn

This introductory session will explore the concept of the image of the child and the role of the teacher in bringing this image forward. We will discuss the impact of language, environment, and how an open-ended process can foster a love of learning and cultivate a respectful classroom culture.

Keeping an Open Mind, Space and Schedule

*Registration is closed for this workshop. If you have any questions, please contact Leemor Ellman at lellman@jfedgmw.org

Monday, November 26, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Temple Sinai, Summit

In this session we will explore how the layout of the classroom and structure of the day can establish an environment that is empowering and supportive for children by offering them the freedom to creatively explore and construct their learning.

Observation and Documentation

Monday, December 17, 9 a.m. – noon
Congregation Agudath Israel, Caldwell

In this final session, we will take a close look at the power of observation and documentation of children’s learning experiences. We will discuss the tools and systems needed to establish sustainable habits for documentation as well as how to present documentation to children, families, and other educators.

Additional workshops will be offered in spring 2019.


For more information contact Leemor Ellman, Director of Empowerment for Families with Young Children, at lellman@jfedgmw.org or (973) 929-2979.

Thank you to our workshop hosts: early childhood directors, Rochelle Baron at Congregation B’nai Israel, Amy Damast at Temple Sinai, and Geula Zamist at Congregation Agudath Israel!