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valpo-school-pics16The Role of the Montessori Teacher

Care -giver: The Teacher’s most important role. A care-giver strives to put aside her teaching and personal motives to serve the child’s developmental needs. A care giver is a reflective student of her own growth and development. Above all else, the care-giver is kind.

Guide: The guardian angel of the child’s health, safety, and well being. A guide strives to be physically present and available to the children. To be present means to be physically in the place and the time where we are needed most. To be available is the capacity to remain emotionally open and understanding in the face of the child’s ever evolving needs.

Companion: A partner who helps the child to know her mind and to own it. A companion strives to always see the child’s world and herself through the child’s eyes. A companion is a genuine friend who understands the joy of giving without expectation of return.

Educator: A collaborator with the child’s emerging skills and her parent’s developing understanding of childhood. An educator strives to perfect her approach to the child, to master the content of her presentations and to develop her ability to interpret for the child.

Colleague: A colleague treats her assistants, fellow teachers and administrators with honor and respect. A colleague strives to offer the members of her school’s community the best of herself.

Professional: A professional strives to be a pleasure to work with. She seeks a home where she is respected and her work is honored. A professional strives to keep her peace with the children, parents, and hers peers, regardless of her personal feelings in the moment. Where care giving matters are at stake, she is uncompromising and speaks her mind in a kind and forthright manner. She abides in the place where she is warmly supported and where she can reliably do her best work.

Our teaching faculty is comprised of dedicated and talented teachers who are, committed, and caring educators. At The Montessori Academy our classrooms are led by the following head teachers.

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Miss Dawn Tasher

Miss Dawn is the owner, administrator, and coordinator of the Montessori preschool program. She also serves as a head teacher. She started the Montessori Academy in the fall of 2001. The children have benefited from Miss Dawn’s expertise in child development and the Montessori approach. She holds an AMS credential in Early Childhood Education. She believes in the Montessori method as it establishes a strong and nurturing relationship between the teacher and the student. Each child reaches his /her own potential by mastering the skills. Every individual in the classroom carves his / her own path of excellence.

Miss Barb Jaworski

Miss Barb’s educational approach is to assist the child in developing their inner potential through the art of learning, supporting knowledge with hands on materials, and growth, through their experiences in the Montessori environment.  She holds an AMS credential in Early Childhood Education. She is well trained in educating children during their sensitive years.  This is a time of great development in their lives.  Miss Barb has been educating young children for over 17 years.  We have been blessed to have Miss Barb with us since the fall of 2003. She has had experience as an assistant teacher at another facility, and has shared her expertise with us and we are privileged to have her on our staff.

Miss Kim Graske

Miss Kim has been with the Montessori Academy since 2004. She found her love for Montessori after enrolling her daughter into our program. Within a couple of years she joined the Montessori Academy as a teacher’s assistant. Miss Kim earned her Directress Certificate for the 3-6 year olds at KHT Montessori Teachers Training Academy in 2012. Miss Kim has a fun and upbeat approach to teaching the students, this helps encourage them to try different things and teaches them how to have fun with everything they do. Miss Kim is also very talented and creative in art. She teaches our drawing class for our students after school. Miss Kim loves the outdoors and enjoys bringing the outdoors into her classroom.

Miss Charlotte L.

Charlotte and her husband have 3 boys. Their youngest boy, is at IU, middle son, lives in Indianapolis and oldest, lives in Valparaiso. They love spending time with them and are very active in their community.

Charlotte graduated from Ball State with a degree in Marketing and Management. Charlotte worked as manager in retail for 8 years before deciding to stay home with her boys when they were younger. After being home with her boys, Charlotte decided that her passion was working with children and not in the business field, and began to pursue her passion and love for children. Charlotte started working part-time teaching pre-school in Munster where she taught for 5 years. After her boys started school, Charlotte accepted a position at Bibich Elementary School as a paraprofessional. Charlotte taught children that need extra one-on-one help and works with children in a small group environment. She also developed and implemented behavioral plans. She remained at Bibich for 8 years and loved what she was doing. During this time she also taught and implemented various classes for the Munster Parks Department for the summer programs. She remained with the Munster school system and parks department for 10 years.

After working for the Montessori Academy in our After School program for 2 years, Charlotte began to really enjoy the Montessori way of teaching and became very interested in learning the Montessori method of teaching. She observed in our classrooms and when the opportunity presented itself, she accepted the position at our academy.

All of the head teachers have also been parents of Montessori children. They know and appreciate the benefits of the Montessori methods. We have experienced Montessori through our own children as well as being Montessori educators.  We truly love the Montessori approach and feel privileged to be able to share it with other children and families.