Teachers

  • 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.

    • Maryam Beirami
      Primary Montessori Teacher

      Maryam Beirami

      Primary Montessori Teacher

      Our Primary classroom is a place of peaceful productivity, thanks largely to the efforts of Ms. Beirami. One of the key elements of the Montessori philosophy is that the children respond to the environment that the teacher creates; their behavior (or misbehavior) is rooted in the environment. Ms. Beirami has created a classroom that encourages learning, where children feel safe to explore any work that stimulates their interest.

      Ms. Beirami joined us as an Assistant in our Toddler program in 2013. After a year, she moved into the Primary program and completed the AMI Montessori Assistant training at Loyola University in Columbia, MD. Ms. Beirami developed a passion for Maria Montessori’s philosophy and methods, reading many of her books and learning from the Montessori teachers she assisted. She then completed her Montessori Early Childhood teacher training in 2016 at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, MD. Ms. Beirami completed an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering in Tehran, Iran, prior to her emigration to the U.S.

      Ms. Beirami enjoys continuing to learn and improve and plans to enroll in a Master’s Degree program in Education one day soon. When she is not in school, she enjoys gardening, baking and cooking, knitting, playing the santoor, and sewing. 

    • Laura Matney
      Montessori Program Director

      Laura Matney

      Montessori Program Director

      Laura has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Psychology, and an American Montessori Society (AMS) credential in both Early Childhood and Infants & Toddlers. She has experience teaching classes in both age groups at previous Montessori schools. 
        
      She loves the Montessori philosophy and method and enjoys continuing to learn and improve both herself and our Montessori program. Along with Mrs. Fletcher, Laura is currently attending an Montessori Administrator credential program at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Md. She expects to complete the 18-month program in November of 2018. 
       
      Some of her other interests are organic gardening and reading.  A book she recently read that she likes is 

        Montessori for a Better World

       by Aline Wolf (2017).   Her favorite movie is “Peaceful Warrior”. When not working, she can be found at home with her ShiTzu rescue dogs.

    • Zoila Villalobos
      Montessori Primary Assistant

      Zoila Villalobos

      Montessori Primary Assistant

      Ms. Villalobos joined us in 2014 as an assistant in the Primary classroom. She is currently working on her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Montgomery College, and is already certified as a preschool teacher. This summer, she attended a two-week Montessori Assistant training at the Washington Montessori Institute in Columbia, MD to give her a foundation in philosophy for the skills she has learned in the classroom.

    • Girija Subramanian
      Montessori Primary Assistant

      Girija Subramanian

      Montessori Primary Assistant

      Ms. Subramanian has a university degrees in Mathematics, Computer Application, and Education. She has taught children from age 18 months through 10th grade, and was principal of a school for children age 3 through 16 for five years before emigrating to the United States.

      Ms. Subramanian is qualified to teach Preschool aged children. She recently attended a two-week Montessori Assistant training at the Washington Montessori Institute in Columbia, MD to enhance her Montessori classrooom skills.

      When she is not in school she likes to travel, read, write, and spend time with her family.

    • Ryan Murtha
      Montessori Infant and Toddler Teacher

      Ryan Murtha

      Montessori Infant and Toddler Teacher

      Ryan has an American Montessori Society (AMS) teaching credential in Infants and Toddlers. He has many years of experience assisting in Montessori toddler classes, and completed his teacher training in 2017.
       
      He enjoys the peacefulness involved in implementing the Montessori Method with toddlers, and he is especially valued for the calm demeanor he maintains with the children. Ryan has a passion and commitment for Dr. Montessori’s method and philosophy. One of the key elements of the Montessori philosophy is that the children respond to the environment that the teacher creates; children’s behavior (or misbehavior) is rooted in the environment.  Ryan has created a classroom that encourages learning, where children feel safe to explore work that stimulates their interests.

      When he is not in school he enjoys reading and writing, spending time with his family, and spending time out in nature with his dogs. He is also interested in digital preservation.

    • Daisy Mitsopoulou
      Montessori Toddler Assistant

      Daisy Mitsopoulou

      Montessori Toddler Assistant

      Daisy has worked for us as a Montessori Toddler Assistant since 2013. She is a certified preschool and infant/toddler teacher. She really enjoys working with the younger children, admiring their energy and their curiosity. 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.

    • Estella Pautrat
      Infant/Toddler Teacher

      Estella Pautrat

      Infant/Toddler Teacher

      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. Estella works in our Infant/Toddler community, helping out where needed.

      Estella also works with older children with special needs. When she’s not working, she enjoys traveling.

    • Patty Wilkie
      Office Manager, Infant Teacher

      Patty Wilkie

      Office Manager, Infant Teacher

      Patty has many years of experience working in Montessori schools in this area, as a teacher and in the office. She has completed Maryland required training to teach Infants, Toddlers, and Early Childhood, and special RIE training in caring for Infants. Patty was our lead Infant teacher for four years, still works in the Infant room part time, and now is our Office Manager. She enjoys learning new things about computers and office management.

      When she is not in school, Patty enjoys doing glass art, singing, playing tennis, and being with her husband and children.

    • Lilia Clavijo
      Infant Teacher

      Lilia Clavijo

      Infant Teacher

      Educated in Columbia, Lilia has cared for young children in this area since 2004. She is a certified Infant and Toddler teacher, and has completed specialized training in caring for infants, including training on SIDS. She also has and maintains current CPR and First Aid certifications. Mrs. Clavijo 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.

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