Meet Mr. Wells, Room C’s New Teacher
MMS is a tight-knit community, but we’re always excited to welcome new people. The newest teacher in Room C, joining Ms. Tobin, is Mr. Wells. We asked him a few questions to get to know him better.
(1) What drew you to Montessori?
I started teaching in a regular public school. A colleague of mine was interested in less traditional forms of teaching and told me to check out New York City Montessori Charter School, where I got a position as an assistant teacher. My first year, I was in a Lower Elementary classroom, and I immediately respected the quiet, but busy, environment. It was surprising: there was more respect and confidence. The way the kids interacted with their peers was different.
In my own education, I did not easily grasp the natural patterns in math. As a teacher though, I noticed how the Montessori materials made math feel more concrete–these are materials that a child wants to interact with as they build their mathematical mind. I also loved the holistic approach of Montessori. I love how classrooms are tidy and bright, how children channel their energy into doing practical things. The overall approach creates a level of internal peacefulness in children.
I was curious to learn more, so I began the Westside Montessori School’s Teacher Education Program for a Montessori Early Childhood Certification. Then, I learned about the Master’s Degree in Montessori Early Childhood/Special Education that Westside offers with Concordia College. And being the crazy human being that I sometimes am, I thought: I can do two programs at once and start as a lead teacher. It was a busy few years, but it was a reflective time for me where I really learned what kind of educator I want to be.
(2) What made you want to work at MMS?
During my teacher education program, I had to do observations at other schools. I came to MMS at that time. Many Montessori schools had strong programs. But what set MMS apart was its palpable kindness. It felt like a close-knit family, but not a closed-off family–a place where you would be invited to the table. When I came back to interview, someone remembered me from when I visited. So I thought I would be comfortable here, and that I would grow in my teaching.
(3) What are you looking forward to this year?
I’m looking forward to settling in and getting to the point when I feel that full integration. I already feel like I’m learning so much. It’s like you’re thirsty, and then someone blasts a fire hydrant!