Baan Dek

Jennifer Humphrey


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

I’ve recently graduated with my Master’s degree in Library Science, specializing in Youth Services, after completing my Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature. I love working with children and as the oldest of six children, I’ve had a lot of practice!

Q: How were you first introduced to Montessori?

I was first introduced to Montessori while studying emergent literacy. Several key components of Montessori, such as allowing the child to lead their own development and the understanding that children are constantly absorbing information, are explored in the subject of emergent literacy and relate directly to developing literacy programs.

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

I think the component that resonates with me the most is the “follow the child” concept; allowing children to develop at their own pace and lead the way in the classroom is a great way to not overwhelm their development and create a sense of autonomy.

Q: What brought you to Baan Dek?

As a recent transplant to Sioux Falls, I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to use my skills while getting to know the community. Baan Dek is a perfect fit!

Q: What is your favorite part of your day at Baan Dek?

I really enjoy the afternoon gathering, once the classroom has been cleaned up and the kids are waiting to be picked up. We talk about what they worked on today, what they want to try working on the next day, and anything exciting or interesting that they want to share with their classmates.

Q: What is your favorite life quote?

What lies behind us, and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Q: What are your favorite colors?

I love purple, green, and gray. Cool colors make me feel calmer and go better with my skin tone.

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

Most of my free time is spent reading; my personal goal is to read 100 books each year. I’ll read just about any subject, though I am currently reading a lot of narrative nonfiction. I’ve just finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and just started Radium Girls. My sisters and I have a monthly book club too!

Q: What is your favorite animal and why?

I don’t have a favorite animal; I think it changes pretty frequently and I think most animals have some fascinating aspect to them. Like koalas have fingerprints that are almost indistinguishable from humans, making koalas the perfect criminals. Giraffes do not have vocal chords, elephants are the only animal that can’t jump, and snails can sleep for up to 3 years at a time.

Q: What’s a fun fact about your life?

I have lived in seven states, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, New York, and now South Dakota. I still call Kansas home though!

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