Baan Dek

Kristin English


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

Born and raised in the Midwest. I am not defined by one thing or focus, I am still learning what drives me and fulfills me. My family and their well being is my highest focus. I love the water and take every opportunity to swim, soak, and float. I have always dreamed of being an art teacher, and working with children directly.

Q: How were you first introduced to Montessori?

I discovered Montessori when I was pregnant, through a Netflix documentary. I was so touched by the sincerity and compassion involved in the principles. Standard education and “daycare” ideals just seemed so backwards after the research into Montessori. To observe versus tell, to promote exploration versus control.

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

Offering children an opportunity to gain a love for learning. It was incredible to learn how essential the independent growth and personal validation. Removing yourself as an obstacle for the child’s growth blew my mind.

Q: What brought you to Baan Dek?

I was initially aware of Baan Dek after researching option for my daughter I discovered it was the only certified Montessori School in Sioux Falls.

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

So far, after only a few days, observing a student feel pride and accomplishment in their work. It gives me goosebumps.

Q: What is your favorite life quote?

Oh boy… I am a little embarrassed to share but it does truly resonate in my personal life and with others. My Dad has since passed away after struggling with cancer for many years, but as a child of 8 we moved from California to Kansas City in a u-haul. At rest stops or gas stations he was approached often by people seeking money with stories of sick mothers etc… His consistent response was, “I have my own problems.” This by no means diluted his compassion or mine for sincere concerns in our society and community, but it put a simple and honest response to the scenarios where truly he or I could not provide the real help being sought out. His approach was gruff but always honest, and I have a deep respect for the courage it took to say and do what he did in his lifetime.

Q: What is your favorite color?

Green green green, all day every day. Unfortunately I wear a lot of black, but my heart sings green!

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

I feel full when I have time to practice yoga or swim laps. If I don’t have the energy or time a nice bath always leaves me feel refreshed.

Q: What is your favorite animal and why?

Dog, Saint Bernard. The gentleness and size contradict what I expected. Saint Bernards remind me to never judge a book by its cover.

Q: What’s a fun fact about your life?

My husband and I work together landscaping small homes in the summer. We plant gardens and plants to promote natural health in our climate all year. The work is terribly exhausting and rewarding. I have never been afraid to get dirty. It’s a gift to work with earth.

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