What is your professional background? I am an Elementary I/I and Secondary I/II certified teacher. I spent about 20 years teaching at the 9-12 level. During Covid times, I decided I needed a challenge and decided to move up to Middle School. I never knew the Secondary program could be just as amazing as the Elementary. I’ve worked for a Public Charter School since 2003. I recently started Modern Montessori Teacher Education College, a low-residency Elementary I/II program while I teach part time in middle school.
What led you to Montessori? Back in the late 90s when I was getting my teaching credential, I was looking for part time work. In the newspaper, I saw an ad for a teaching assistant at a private Montessori school. I immediately fell in love with the methodology and never left.
What titles have you published, and what is your most recent publication? I recently published “Montessori Observation Notes for the Secondary Classroom: Developing a Deeper Understanding of the Adolescent’s Needs” and “Montessori Observation Notes: Developing a Deeper Understanding of the Child’s Needs.” I created these in response to my view that the art of observation has been forgotten. There is such power in the guide observing the child, the wait time, and the response. These journals can be used to graph data and chart student learning.
What are some things that you have learned as an author? The simple ideas that are rooted in Authentic Montessori are what teachers are wanting. Furthermore, our students benefit so much from us teachers going back to the roots and using scientific observation to guide instruction.
What is next for you? I’m almost done writing a book called, Modern Montessori: Maintaining Authenticity While Meeting Common Core State Standards. I hope to have it out next month, as it’s also a response to going back to Montessori’s roots to guide our students’ learning. It contains lots of analogies, case studies, and low-prep lessons in math to meet the demands of today.
What else would you like to add? The journals can be used however you want. For me, I dedicate 4 pages per student for the Secondary journal and 3 pages per student for the Elementary journal. This simple component of my classroom provides me more information than any other assessment. It’s simple and authentic.