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). Because we have Kindergarten in our Primary class, the Primary teachers are also certified as teachers by the Maryland State Department of Education. 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. Aides have very few requirements from the state, other than being 16 years old. Since most of our Aides work in the late afternoon, and time to time as substitutes, we look for students who have taken the Early Childhood Education in high school or college. As with all of our staff, they must have a gentle and respectful manner with the children, and enjoy working collaboratively with the other teachers in the classrooms.
Ms. Laura, the Director of our School
Ms. Laura has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree both in Psychology, and an American Montessori Society (AMS) credential in both Early Childhood (“Primary”) and Infants & Toddlers. She has experience teaching classes in both age groups at previous Montessori schools.
Ms. Laura loves the Montessori philosophy and method and enjoys continuing to learn and improve both herself and our Montessori program. She is currently attending an AMS Montessori Administrator credential program and is enjoying it very much.
Some of her other interests are organic gardening and reading. She has current CPR and First Aid certifications.
Ms. Patty, the Assistant Director of our school,
and is also an Infant teacher
Ms. Patty has many years of experience working in Montessori schools in this area, as a teacher and in the office. She has the 90-hour certificate and also the 45-hour certificate in Infants & Toddlers, and also 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. She has current First Aid and CPR certifications
Lead Montessori Primary Teacher
Ms. Jessica, is our lead Montessori primary 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 singing with the children.
Ms. Pooja, is one of our teachers who has been with Top Hat over the last several years. She has an Associate of Arts degree and also has a 90-hour certification, and she also a 45-hour Infant & Toddler certification.
Montessori Toddler Assistant
Ms. Daisy has worked for us as a Montessori Toddler Teacher since 2013. She has both a 90-hour certification and also a 45-hour Infant & Toddler certification. She really enjoys working with the younger children, admiring their energy and their curiosity, and how everything is new to Toddlers. Daisy has five children of her own, and when she is not in school, she likes to spend time with them and her husband. She has current First Aid and CPR certifications.
Certified Preschool Teacher
Ms. Estella is a certified preschool teacher and has worked with us since 2015. 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 and traveling. She has current CPR and First Aid certifications.
Ms. Lilia has cared for young children in this area since 2004. She has both a 90-hour certification and also a 45-hour Infant & Toddler certification and training on SIDS. She also has current First Aid and CPR certifications. Ms. Lilia is especially valued for her gentle manner and genuine concern for the infants in her care. The babies are happy to see her every day and miss her when they move into the Toddler classroom.
Ms. Katrina is one of our assistant teachers. She has worked with children for the last 6 years. She has her 45 hour Infant & Toddler certification. She is working on her college degree in child development. She has current First Aid and CPR certifications.