Once shown how to use a certain material, the child is encouraged to return to it on his or her own to practice. Observation allows the adult to know when to introduce new concepts.
It is the transformation of the adult, into one who reveres the child as master of his own destiny, that becomes necessary to complete the ‘dynamic triangle’ between adult, child and the environment. The adult must become one committed to observation of the child in order to assist in the development of the whole person. The ability to make connections for the child between inclinations and the materials in a prepared environment is a most critical skill. Observation, preparation and a ‘disposition appropriate for the task’ are the means to foster the work of the child in ‘creating himself’.
I was a Montessori preschooler myself! I was born and raised in South Minneapolis. While I earned my Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, I completed a year of student teaching at a public Montessori school in St. Paul. Teaching that year deepened my passion and belief in the Montessori philosophy. Following graduation, I gained valuable teaching experience in two different private Montessori schools in the Twin Cities before starting my second Masters degree in Montessori Education at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls.
My educational and classroom experiences have continued to solidify and intensify my belief in the Montessori philosophy. I believe that children are truly special and I feel honored everyday to be a guide for them in the Montessori classroom. I have felt for a long time that this is my calling and duty to teach in the Montessori environment, to realize the needs of each child by observing them and preparing the environment for them appropriately. A child who is allowed to create his or herself in a way they feel is appropriate and peaceful, gives them the freedom to learn effectively in the classroom and better prepares them for the world around them.
My name is MacKenzie Grass and I am the Guide in the Toddler Community. I live in the Cedar-Isles-Dean neighborhood of Minneapolis with my husband and young daughter, and have been a Guide in a Montessori School downtown for the past 6 years.
I started my career in Montessori as an Assistant Teacher in a toddler environment and realized that both the philosophy and age group were a perfect fit for me; I believe that a Montessori education is so important for even the youngest children. It’s inspiring for me to observe toddlers as they move through their early sensitive periods, and it is an honor to guide them as they grow and master their skills. Toddlers are capable of so much more than they are often given credit for, and a Montessori education allows them the opportunity to hone their abilities in a loving environment created just for them!
I first fell in love with the Montessori method as a child. I was lucky to attend a Montessori school almost though 6th grade. While in lower elementary my mom trained to become an Montessori teacher; I was hooked. I have a degree in English Literature and Speech Communication from St. Catherine’s University. I went on to be certified in Montessori Early Childhood. I sent both my children to Hopkins Montessori School and began working here in 2013. I love being part of this amazing community. I also teach Godly Play at my church, a Montessori based Sunday school program. Working with 3-6 year olds brings me so much joy. I learn from the children each and everyday.
My name is Ms Kim. My husband and I have two boys. I have been an Assistant Montessori Teacher at Hopkins Montessori School since 2014. Before that, my two boys attended Hopkins Montessori School, during which time I volunteered. I love the Montessori philosophy and enjoy witnessing its wonderful impact on the children. It is a joy getting to know each and every child! I love family time at our cabin where we swim, have campfires, kayak, boat, fish and enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of nature. When my husband and I aren’t busy driving our boys around, we enjoy movies and the latest must-watch series and cuddling with our dog.
I began my first year of teaching at Hopkins Montessori School in the fall of 2017. I first discovered Montessori when I was a new mother navigating how to best nurture my child as a whole being. I found inspiration in reading books Maria Montessori authored, and her philosophies deeply resonated with me, forever changing the way I view children! It soon became a passion that I chose as a career path. I plan to pursue a Montessori training course this year to learn deeper into the education method.
Meanwhile, I am in the process of a degree in early childhood education. My three-year-old daughter also recently began her preschool “career” at HMS in the 2018 school year! From a parent’s perspective, I have seen her be able to exist in her most authentic nature at school, and growing leaps and bounds before my eyes. It is such a warm community where children from all walks of life are accepted as they are, and are given the tools to discover themselves. My favorite part about being a guide at our school is watching a child’s glowing spirit when are peacefully engaged in a work. It’s very special to be invited into a child’s joyful world and witnessing the thrill of their discoveries!
Hello! I’m Federica, the Director of Community Engagement. I am delighted to support Hopkins Montessori School as it grows into a larger community. My goal is to foster the Montessori approach to child development from the parents perspective, helping as a liaison between school and home. I will be engaging through the newsletter, website, social media, school tours, and possibly workshops in the future. I have been passionate about education since I graduated from the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy, in 2003. I began teaching English to elementary school children. After completing a Masters degree from the University of La Sapienza in Rome, Italy, I taught in Dublin, Ireland, for a year and then chose to move to the US in 2009. Here I began my training in Montessori Education for the 3 to 6 year age group. The teachings of Maria Montessori have resonated with me since the very beginning and have become a part of who I am and how I see children. I taught in Montessori environments for six years in Orlando, FL, and Minneapolis before choosing to take care of my two children at home. I live in St Louis Park with my husband Nicholas, Lucas (4) who’s a student at Hopkins Montessori School, and Julia (2). We speak Italian and English, eat pizza, and enjoy biking to the lakes as often as we can.