Meet Ms. Hopson, Room A’s New Teacher
MMS is a tight-knit community, but we’re always excited to welcome new people. The newest teacher in Room A, joining Ms. McFarlane, is Ms. Hopson. We asked her a few questions to get to know her better.
What drew you to the Montessori philosophy?
I was an au pair for a year in France, where I got an assistant teaching position at a bilingual Montessori school there. I immediately thought Montessori was the greatest thing in the world. It just made sense to me–and I love that Montessori is so international. When I learned more about Maria Montessori, I thought it was so wonderful that she was able to take her philosophy to India, the United States, and it’s all over Europe. The incredible materials are their own language. In Italy, where I was last summer, I went to the original Montessori school (see photos below!). I spent an entire afternoon trying to find it. It was 95 degrees. There were no signs. It’s hidden in the courtyard of a building–it’s a very normal urban place that’s still in operation. They had a display about her and her life. I just geeked out to a ridiculous level. I ended up getting my Montessori Early Childhood certification from West side Montessori’s Teacher Education Program, and later a Master’s Degree in Montessori Early Childhood/Special Education through West side/Concordia College.
What made you want to work at MMS?
MMS is a school that I’ve known about for a long time. It’s very well-established. I just thought it was so unbelievably cool that parents are dedicated enough to Montessori that they would keep their kids here from primary to sixth grade. I figured it meant that there’s a very tight community here. There’s not a lot of turnover at MMS, so I was very excited to see a position opening.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Ms. McFarlane and I are very similar in wanting our classroom to embody the central values of Maria Montessori’s philosophy. We want it to feel safe and tranquil and foster courteousness and independence in children. We’re very like-minded. And then, of course, as a teacher, you’re never finished. I’m excited to learn. There are so many different ways to teach things and interact with children. When I got here, I just had the feeling that this is where I absolutely should be.