Baan Dek

Lara Jacobs


Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?

I knew in high school that I wanted to work with young children. During high school I was part of the school’s preschool program and then pursued early childhood education in college. Once I found Montessori, I never wavered on my choice to work within a Montessori environment. My husband John and I have 4 children, ages 25 to 10. All have attended Montessori from about 18 months into the elementary years.

One thing I love about preparing a Montessori classroom is shopping and hunting for that perfect pitcher or tray. I also love finding beautiful porcelain items and finding a way to incorporate it into the classroom. I love to craft, so not only do I make things for the classroom, but I also love creating new art activities for the children. When my 21 year old daughter was home for Thanksgiving, we made stars and a garland for our Christmas tree. It was one my favorite afternoons during her visit.

My Montessori degree is an international one, so I have always dreamed of teaching Montessori in a different country, preferably in a community that has a real need for education for both the children and the parents.

Q: How were you first introduced to Montessori?

During college I had a chance to observe a Montessori primary classroom and was awestruck but the purposeful learning. When telling this to a friend in the DC area, where I lived, she told me that there was a school in DC that would directly prepare me to teach Montessori. Prior to this, I had been told that I could do my student teaching in a Montessori classroom and learn the process by doing. I was so fortunate to find my training center and have two very experienced and knowledgeable trainers.

Q: What was it about Montessori that resonated with you?

Freedom and responsibility. I love that Montessori children have the freedom to walk around the room, thinking, observing, until they find just the right piece of work. I also love that this freedom is directly correlated with responsibility. The responsibility to walk and not run, to choose from items you have had a lesson on already (or to ask for a lesson), to work in such a way as to not disturb other people. Unbridled freedom would unnerve me!

Q: What brought you to Baan Dek?

Years ago my AMI consultant told me about June and Bobby. She thought we had a lot in common since I was running Maine’s only AMI school. I began following Baan Dek, always inspired by what they would post on Facebook or on their website. I jumped at the opportunity to join the school, even for a maternity coverage.

Q: What treats do you always say yes to?

Milk chocolate, even though I know that dark chocolate is a healthier choice!

Q: What are your favorite colors?

I like the colors of the ocean and the sunset, aqua blues and pinks.

Q: What is your favorite childhood book or movie?

I have always loved Heidi but The Endless Steppe was the first book that I couldn’t put down and that made me cry. I do still love that book.

Q: How do you like to spend your free time?

I love spending time with my family, actively doing something like kayaking or simply sitting around on the couch talking.

Q: What is your favorite animal and why?

I love dogs and my favorite breed is the Irish Wolfhound, though I’ve never owned one. I love the unconditional love of a dog, their goofy ways, their protective nature and their ability to learn tricks.

Q: What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to work with animals, as either a vet or a breeder.

Q: What’s a fun fact about your life?

I was born in the Philippines (my dad worked for the State Department), my brother was born in the Netherlands and my sister was born in Maine. To honor our birthplaces, we celebrated St. Nicholas Day, Santa and the Three Magi. Each celebration involved setting shoes or stockings out and getting treats on the feast day. No wonder I always loved Christmas time!

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