My first job with Apple Montessori was in Oakland, NJ. There I met so many wonderful families and friends. Teaching preschool was incredible. It provided a solid foundation of teaching skills and a mindset for the Montessori method.
An opportunity for teaching Elementary opened in 2005. I accepted the position, but it was very hard to leave Oakland. However, many students from Oakland have enrolled in our elementary program. So the connection remains strong and is one of the reasons we call ourselves “ The Apple Family.”
I currently teach Upper Elementary. The students are an entity unto themselves. Everyday, I walk into a new adventure: one that fosters critical thinking, scientific observations, and collaborative interaction; all of which are promoted by the students. I truly believe these students speak the truth. They will take charge and be the change the world so desperately needs.
Since college, I knew that traditional public education was not for me. When I dove deeper into Montessori I knew that this was where I belonged. Fast forward three years and a very close friend of mine was a teacher at Apple Montessori in Kinnelon. At the time, my son, Matthew was 2, and she recommended that this is where I would want him to go. Matthew began at the Kinnelon school and within a year I became an assistant teacher in Mrs. Winkler’s class. He cried a lot in the beginning, but in the end he thrived, and he loved it, and we both knew it was a perfect fit.
Around the time Matthew was in kindergarten, Mrs. Mooney began her career at Apple. I was offered a preschool teaching position at our Preakness location. I was so happy to accept! I taught preschool for about five years and was then offered a position as an elementary teacher at our Church Lane location. I have been teaching Elementary ever since!
Montessori allows me to nurture and foster a child’s love of learning. I love having the ability to follow a child’s natural course of curiosity, and take it to different levels without it being restricted by traditional school guidelines. Watching a child have “ah-ha” moments and gain a sense of “I can do this,” and “Nothing can stop me,” instead of a class that is teacher-driven has been my motivation for all these years. The sense of pride can be seen in the work they produce, and that makes me wish that every child could have the opportunity to experience a Montessori education.
It has been 29 years and each year has been better than the year before!
I’ve always had a love for teaching! I can remember when I was younger, sitting my stuffed animals around my chalkboard and using my aunt’s old teacher’s books, imagining a class full of students!
I started working at Apple when I was in my senior year of high school. I worked at the Kinnelon location as a daycare teacher. I knew when I started college I wanted to pursue a career in education. The timing could not have been any more perfect! I was just about to graduate from William Paterson University when Mrs. Mooney offered me a preschool teaching position here at the Wayne location. I was beyond excited to start my career with Apple Montessori; I had developed a passion for Montessori, and it was a perfect fit!
Many years later, I again was lucky enough to move to the Elementary classroom. I love what I do, and it is truly a joy to come to work with my wonderful students everyday! There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the pride in a student’s eyes after working so hard on something or seeing that spark when they understand a concept that they were having difficulty with. Being able to provide my students with the guidance they need to progress at their own pace, providing them with choices instead of a one size fits all curriculum and the ability to stay curious and engaged while loving learning, is why I love what I do and how I know we have the most amazing students. I know they are going to do great things when they grow up!
I have also been blessed to have my children attend Apple. My daughter, Ainsley, is 4 and my son, Noah, is 17 months. Both of my children have done so well at Apple, people are blown away by the things my children are capable of doing. I’m one proud Mama and one proud Apple Montessori teacher!