3rd/4th Grade Teacher

leila_zarembaAfter graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in theater, Leila intended to pursue a career in performing arts, but found her true calling as a teacher. Her first taste of teaching was in a middle school in Alum Rock School District in San Jose.  Although middle school was not a perfect fit, she knew she belonged in the classroom. The following year, she taught first grade in the same district. Over the next two years, she subbed in various grade levels until finally landing at San Antonio Elementary, where she taught both third and fourth grades. She has also directed, taught, and managed various performing arts programs throughout the Bay Area, including Midnight Shakespeare, Drama Girls, and Movin’ on Up Dance Team, and loves incorporating her passion for and training in theater in into her lessons.

When Leila took a year off to be home with her son, she contemplated leaving the profession that she loved. Although each year she had found great success with her students, the “teach to the test” competitive learning environment was starting to take the enjoyment out of teaching. As she began her search for a new job, she was thrilled to be introduced to Crestmont, where she could teach with skill, creativity, and passion.

Leila believes that learning should be challenging but fun. She gets to know all her students so that can she can individualize their lessons, and challenge, assist, and inspire them as needed. She believes it is essential to incorporate creative endeavors across the curriculum, including both the visual and performing arts. It is part of her goal to teach the whole child rather than simply imparting information in preparation for tests. As a teacher, Leila believes she has the unique opportunity to guide each child to reach her or his potential, not just as a student, but as a person in the community.