Faculty Spotlight

By February 11, 2020 Uncategorized

Meet Aish Saminathan, Lower Elementary Teacher

What do you love about working with children?

It is immensely rewarding to watch children expand their social awareness and develop an understanding of morality. One of life’s most interesting and important works is narrating stories about the universe and our role in it. As an elementary teacher, we are fortunate to do it every single day!

 What drew you to Montessori?

When working as a journalist in India, I was covering a CSR project that involved introducing Montessori curriculum in public schools catering to children from families below poverty line (family income of less than $0.46 a day). I saw that the children, who were sent to school mainly for free lunches that the parents otherwise could not afford, seized the opportunity for learning. They were expertly manipulating a myriad of Montessori materials with relentless focus and effort. Years later, when my child was enrolled in a Montessori school, I decided to get trained just to decode its magic.

What’s one thing you’d like families to know about you?

I am a strong proponent of inquiry-based learning for math and science. My graduate training in physics, and two certifications on  math education  from the Stanford Center for Education and Professional Development reinforced my belief that mistakes and struggle are vital for learning math and science.  Mistakes are important not just for developing a growth mindset but also for brains to form new neurological pathways (Moser, 2007). Success in math is determined by effort and concrete experiences and not by misconceived notion of ability.

Meet Megan Skeuse, Upper Elementary Teacher

What do you love about working with children?

What I love about working with children is that they are so incredibly dynamic. Children are naturally receptive to learning new things, and they eagerly embrace new perspectives and ideas.

What drew you to Montessori?

The Montessori framework really spoke to me as a validation of what I believe my role is to be – a teacher in a classroom where children are the captains of their own learning. Far too often, there is a dichotomy between what is taught and what is learned, rather than the fluidity that comes with true understanding. One of my favorite educational scholars, Paulo Freire (1970) refers to a common problem in modern education, where students’ minds are often treated as vessels into which knowledge can be “deposited.” He says, “Implicit in the banking concept is the assumption of a dichotomy between human beings and the world: a person is merely in the world, not with the world; the individual is a spectator, not re-creator.” The Montessori philosophy of “following the child” is the antithesis of this misconception; we hold that a love of learning and building of empathy must be fostered and nurtured above all else, and that children’s innate sense of wonder and curiosity make them already vital participants in the world around them.

What’s one thing you’d like families to know about you?

I hope that the families at Princeton Montessori School know how immensely privileged I feel that they trust in me to support and guide their children during these formative years.

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