Maria Montessori called the adult in her classroom a Directress. Some Montessori schools call them Guides. Since this term is not commonly understood outside of the Montessori environment, we refer to our adults as Teachers. Montessori Teachers have a year of specialized education from a training center that is approved by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). Training can be for Infants and Toddlers (ages 0 to 3), or for Early Childhood (ages 3 to 6). Montessori Kindergarten is included in our Primary class. The Maryland State Department of Education has approved the Montessori Kindergarten program. Our Montessori Assistants are all qualified as teachers by the State of Maryland for the age group they teach. We encourage them to attend Montessori Assistant training, which many do. This gives them a deeper understanding of Montessori philosophy, and teaches them the best ways to assist a Montessori trained teacher. Many of our assistants have college degrees, and all are committed to Montessori education. All of our staff must have a gentle and respectful manner with the children, and enjoy working collaboratively with the other teachers in the classrooms.
Ms. Laura, Director
Ms. Laura is the Director of our school. She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and is an American Montessori Society (AMS) certified Montessori teacher in both Primary and Infants & Toddlers. She has also completed the AMS Administrator Credential program at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. She is qualified by the state of Maryland to be a lead Infant, Toddler, and Preschool teacher, and also to be a Director of a Montessori school in Maryland and has several years of experience doing these things in Montessori schools.
Some of the things she loves about the Montessori curriculum are that it teaches respect for all life and appreciation of all cultures, cultivates emotional resilience through self-compassion, and prepares children for Life by teaching them to be independent and to navigate ambiguous situations. She also appreciates how the Montessori philosophy is consistent with her values of remaining mindful of the choice to be happy, finding joy in the service of others, and cultivating Peace by focusing on things that Unify rather than Divide. Her other interests include mindfulness training, moving meditation, organic gardening, learning foreign languages, learning sign language, and learning new technology.
Ms. Laura also has an appreciation for the Reggio Emilia method for our after-care program. The Reggio Emilia approach is similar to Montessori in that it is a student-centered and constructivist method that utilizes self-directed, experiential learning, in relationship-oriented environments, and is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community. The Reggio Emilia Approach was developed by pedagogist Loris Malaguzzi and parents in the villages around the city of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and derives its name from that city.
Ms. Patty, Assistant Director
Ms. Patty is the Assistant Director of our school and is also one of our Infant teachers. She has many years of experience working in Montessori schools in this area, as a teacher and in the office. She meets Maryland state requirements to be a lead Infant, Toddler, and Pre-School teacher, and and also has a RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) certificate. Patty was our lead Infant teacher for four years, still works in the Infant room part-time, and now is also the Assistant Director of our school.
When Ms. Patty is not in school, she enjoys doing glass art, singing, and spending time with her husband, two adult children, and soft-coated Wheaten Terrier.
Ms. Jessica, is our lead certified Montessori primary teacher and meets Maryland state requirements to be a lead Pre-School teacher. Ms. Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland. She also has an AMS Montessori credential for ages 3 – 6. She enjoys playing the piano and singing with the children.
Ms. Pooja, is one of our teachers of children age 3 – 6 who has been with us over the last several years. She has an Associate of Arts degree and meets Maryland state requirements to be a lead Infant, Toddler, and Pre-School teacher.
Ms. Daisy is one of our Toddler teachers. She has worked with us as a Montessori Toddler Teacher since 2013, and meets Maryland state requirements to be a lead Infant, Toddler, and Pre-School teacher. She really enjoys working with the younger children, admiring their energy and their curiosity, and how everything is new to Toddlers. Ms. Daisy has five children of her own, and when she is not in school, she likes to spend time with them and her husband.
Ms. Estella is one of our Infant and Toddler teachers. She has worked with us since 2015, and meets Maryland state requirements to be a lead Infant, Toddler, and Pre-School teacher. She is especially valued for the calm demeanor she maintains with the children. When she is not working here, Ms. Estella enjoys working with children with special needs, exercising, and traveling.
Ms. Lilia is one of our Infant teachers. She has cared for young children in this area since 2004 and meets Maryland state requirements to be a lead Infant, Toddler, and Pre-School teacher. Ms. Lilia is especially valued for her gentle manner and genuine concern for the infants in her care. The infants are happy to see her every day and miss her when they move into the Toddler classroom.
Ms. Margarita is one of our Infant teachers. She has cared for young children for many years and meets Maryland state requirements to be a lead Infant, Toddler, and Pre-School teacher. Ms. Margarita speaks both fluent English and Spanish.
Ms. Corinna is one of our Toddler teachers and meets Maryland state requirements to be a lead Infant, Toddler, and Pre-School teacher. She has much experience working with toddlers and she has two children of her own who attend our school.
Ms. Soraya is one of our Toddler teachers and meets Maryland state requirements to be a lead Infant, Toddler, and Pre-School teacher. She has much experience working with toddlers in Montessori schools.
Ms. Karen is one of our assisting teachers. She has her 90-hour certification and is an intern from the Gaithersburg Child Development program. She speaks both fluent English and Spanish.
Ms. Maryam is one of our assisting teachers. She has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
Ms. Hope is one of our assisting teachers. She is currently attending college and works with us part-time.