October 24, 2023

Shay Falkins, a level 2 teacher on The New England Center for Children’s (NECC) Oak Street team, has worked at NECC for three years. She was nominated by a colleague because she “goes above and beyond when it comes to keeping her students engaged and learning. She is such a kind-hearted, hard-working person and every student she works with is always smiling and having a good time. She has a way of bringing staff together and is an amazing leader whenever staff need direction or help. Shay is always helping out the team, even if it means she’s adding more to her plate. The way she balances work with school is such an inspiration.”

How long have you worked for NECC?

I have worked at NECC for three years. I started on West Hill Road in 2020 (#WestHillBestHill!), but when the residence closed, I moved to Westborough 1. I was interested in also working with the female students at NECC (both West Hill and West 1 house male students) and have spent the last year on Oak Street! 


I decided to work at NECC to take advantage of the many graduate programs it offers. I had just finished my undergraduate degree and was working at a non-profit for kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). NECC gave me the opportunity to work in an educational setting.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is seeing the growth of my students. All the progress they make brings me so much joy. Seeing their smiles every day is very rewarding.

Have you taken advantage of any of the grad programs or teacher training at NECC? If so, how has it helped you as a teacher?

After starting at NECC, I enrolled in the Simmons University master’s degree program. My teaching style has adapted since being in the Simmons program in that I am learning the importance of culturally responsive teaching.

Who is someone you look up to?

I look up to my mom a lot! She is such a strong person and a great mom. 

What is your life philosophy or motto you like to live by?

A good laugh and a long nap are the two best cures for anything!