Woodland Park

Our Teacher

"Teacher Tom" Hobson has been Woodland Park's teacher since 2002. He thinks of the preschool as a community in which families choose to raise their children together. Just as earlier generations of preschoolers learned everything they needed to know from their neighbors and neighborhood, Teacher Tom strives to create a classroom in which children are stimulated to explore the world beyond their own homes in partnership with the adults who love them.

His classroom is a physically and emotionally safe environment in which children are free to pursue their own interests at their own pace. Teacher Tom believes preschool is a place for children to prepare themselves for the bigger world of kindergarten by experimenting with friendships and society, exploring emotions, and ultimately discovering her or his own power within the community.

Teacher Tom's classroom can be loud and messy at times -- that's the way children tend to be when they're up to their elbows in shaving cream, whacking their easels with paint covered fly swatters, or running around in a "cage" full of balloons. It's a place where children learn as much from mud, sticks, rocks and water, as they do from books, puzzles, field trips and teachers. It's the children's school -- they make their own rules, clean up their own toys, and dictate the curriculum in a very real way.

Prior to teaching, Tom worked with children as a coach of nearly 40 different baseball teams -- an experience that is reflected in his teaching style. He's a regular contributor to "Seattle's Child" magazine and other publications; is the author of the book, "A Parent's Guide to Seattle"; and his smiling face will soon decorate the cartons of a new brand of cookie dough. He has lived in 7 states and 3 countries, but likes Seattle best of all.