Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?
I’m 33 years old. I’m married and have a daughter. My parents and siblings live in St. Petersburg, Russia, where I grew up. It’s hard to live far away from my family, but I’m very happy to have my husband’s family and friends nearby. Our families mean a lot to us.
I have a bachelor’s degree in pedagogy and a masters degree in psychology of education. I’m very interested in psychology and in parent/teacher effectiveness training by Dr. Thomas Gordon.
Q: How were you first introduced to Montessori?
I first learned about Montessori during my masters program in psychology of education. It struck my attention because of all the freedom that children have in the classroom and are able to practice making decisions/choosing from a very early age. Later I learned that it’s not only about freedom but also about the limits just like in the adult world. For example, you have the freedom to travel all across Europe by car only if you know the rules that each country has about driving.
Q: What was it about Montessori that resonated with you?
I love that in a Montessori environment children have the opportunity to become independent and self confident; they have the option of choosing the work they feel the need to do to fulfill their developmental needs and they learn about their personalities by doing so.
Q: What brought you to Baan Dek?
I was looking for a school where I could practice Montessori method and where I would have the support I need to be able to do that.
Q: What is your favorite part of your day at Baan Dek?
Every day is different. There are days when children come to the classroom full of energy and ready to work and I really enjoy the atmosphere of active exploration on those days.
Q: What is your favorite life quote?
“You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night…You – only you – will have stars that can laugh.”
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Q: What are your favorite colors?
I like the colors of autumn, they are very rich, diverse and compliment each other. In general I think nature has a very good taste in mixing colors together.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
I like spending time with my family and friends, being in nature, doing yoga, reading, knitting and sewing.
Q: What is your favorite animal and why?
I really like elephants for their sense of community. I think they are beautiful and they seem to show emotions that are similar to human emotions. I like the fact that they remember each other even after being apart for a long time.
Q: What’s a fun fact about your life?
I was born in Armenia, grew up in Russia, lived in China and moved to the United States, which is my husband’s home country.