The art of running a Montessori school

Hamilton Spectator

Name: Katy Bennett

Position: Principal and Montessori teacher at Foundations Montessori School.

Job description:

Together with a team of passionate educators, I run Foundations Montessori School. We are a bilingual, elementary Montessori school that specializes in the arts. The Foundations team consists of highly-dedicated French, music, dance and art teachers. The staff, children and their families are like family to me. We are a community that is growing together.

How did you come to be in this job?

I've been an educator in different capacities and contexts for the past 14 years in Australia and Canada. I've taught kindergarten to Grade 12 and been involved in a lot of curriculum research, development, and staff professional development training. When I first moved to Hamilton as a skilled immigrant, I volunteered at inner city schools and then worked in a Montessori school. I found my passion for the Montessori methodology, which led me to opening a school that focuses on each individual child and encouraging them in their interests.

What gets you up in the morning?

The children. Their joy, wonder, their hunger for learning, their laughter, curiosity, their love of growing together and sharing their learning with others.

Lessons learned?

There is a vast community of connections if you are willing to engage and participate. Most people in Hamilton are very willing to share their time and resources to help encourage people who are embarking on something new. There is so much positive support within our community.

Roots?

I come from a beach town called Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Maroochydore is an Indigenous name meaning "home of the black swan." The school I taught at in Australia was studying the literacy and numeracy curriculum in Ontario. I was particularly interested in a phonics curriculum, 'Words Their Way,' which was being used in Ontario at that time. The original plan was to come to Hamilton for one year to see it used firsthand in schools. I fell in love with the city and have lived here almost seven years now.

Recent social media post(s): A welcome back to school post with a photo of the children and their giant snowman they made.

Contacts: principal@foundationsmontessori.ca (email) and on Facebook: Foundations Montessori School

Groups and associations: Ontario College of Teachers, Reggio Emilia Study Group, Lively Dragon (dragon boat club)

Favourite place in Hamilton: Bayfront. I love being on the water, paddling with my dragon boat team.

What would make Hamilton a better city? I love this city. I love the diversity, the culture, the openness and the interconnectedness of groups of people.

What's next for you? Continuing to strengthen relationships in the local community.

This feature was co-ordinated by the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council (HIPC), Global Hamilton and Workforce Planning Hamilton to highlight professionals from a diversity of backgrounds. If you know an immigrant professional or entrepreneur who would make a good candidate for this series, contact Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council at immigration.partnership@hamilton.ca

2018-02-20 12:01