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Metairie Primary Community

The Pre-K/K class has a very welcoming and spacious outlay that makes for a conducive environment to choose work.  With an abundance of windows luminating the class and allowing natural sunlight to flow through, the sounds of nature are in full throttle. Children in the Pre-K/K class are in a prepared learning environment designed to meet their individual needs and to assure them the opportunity to reach their full potential.  The shelves in the Pre-K/Kindergarten class are lined with works that are progressive, moving from simple to complex and concrete to abstract.  All is designed around the developmental needs as well as the interests of the individual child, based on the observations of the Montessori teacher, trained to identify those needs as they occur.  Math, Language, Sensorial, Practical Life, Science, Geography, and The Arts are all part of the three-year program. 

In the multi-age 3-year Pre-K/K program, the young child has the opportunity to look to the older child for social and academic guidance.  In return, the older child has the opportunity to develop a high level of self-esteem and most certainly a greater sense of responsibility.  This provides the basis for a high sense of community within the classroom and among the children as individuals.  The development of the child--mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally is enhanced by the multi-age status of the classroom.  With a great emphasis on the lessons of Grace and Courtesy, the child learns respect for his peers, for his environment, and for the world in which he lives.  Academically, socially, and emotionally, each year provides a unique opportunity for the child to advance so that by the end of his third year, he is ready to meet all the challenges of first grade in every way.

The Pre-K/K child is exposed to exercises that employ movement, manipulatives, and free choice (within limits).  In the Montessori class, free choice means the child may choose work on which he has had a lesson; work that he uses properly and returns properly and to work in groups with his peers.  From following these guidelines, the child develops a sense of personal responsibility for making the right choice to properly care for his environment and his peers by putting his work away in consideration of the next person wanting to use the work.  He develops a sense of independence by learning, through Practical Life activities, how to wash, clean and dry his work as necessary, sweep the floor, scrub the table and chairs, mop, bake, sew on a button, etc.  He learns how to use his words with a peer when he is angry, hurt, or not understanding.  At the conclusion of this 3-year program, the child is well on his way to becoming a good citizen of the world, of reaching his full potential as a human being, and most importantly, for becoming a life-long learner. 

 

Lacie Darby
Primary Community Practical Life & Culture Directress

Ms. Lacie joined the Kinder Haus Family in January 2015. She pursued studies in child/adolescent psychology and sociology and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Orleans. In the past she has worked as a summer camp director, a children’s party entertainer/hostess, a nanny, and an art teacher. Her favorite things in life are children, art, and cats! In her spare time, Ms. Lacie enjoys spending time with her two cats, gathering ideas for the classroom, and making art of all kinds: up-cycling, painting, sewing, balloon twisting, clay sculpting, paper quilling, origami, etc. She is a very nurturing, committed, and caring teacher-- enthusiastic about her studies of Montessori’s philosophy. In May 2017, Ms. Lacie began her Montessori Certification through Montessori World Education Institute.

 

Brandie Morales
Primary Community Math & Sensorial Directress

Ms. Brandie joined our Kinder Haus family in 2013 and has a background in childcare and retail. Her natural love of children and her creativity and organizational skills make her a great fit for our children’s house. She completed her Montessori certification in July of 2014. Ms. Brandie says, “I feel that teaching is my true passion, and calling – I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. Teaching has so many rewards but the greatest has to be seeing how excited the children are to see you and knowing that you’re making a difference in, not only their day, but their lives. Ms. Brandie enjoys spending time with son in her free time, as well as finding new and exciting craft activities to create, mostly using everyday items to see what they can be turned in to next!

 

Amanda Ruhlman
Primary Community Language Directress

Ms. Amanda joined the Kinder Haus Family in September 2016. She studied Secondary Education at the University of New Orleans and is currently working toward completing Montessori Certification through MWEI in Hammond.

Ms. Amanda says,” I always knew that one day I would be a teacher. At a young age, I started working with children with special needs and followed that love of helping their minds grow all the way to college. I hope to continue to grow in my ability to not only teach, but to nurture young minds of all walks of life. My passion comes from seeing the light in the children I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. I feel my students give me motivation to keep my passion alive by reminding me of how amazing each of their journey in education truly is.”

We are certainly grateful that Ms. Amanda’s journey led her to Kinder Haus; her welcoming and calm demeanor is evident to all in her presence.

 

Elena Boudreaux
Primary Community Afternoon Enrichment Directress

Ms. Elena is the proud live-in God-mother and co-homeschooler of three amazing children. Her motivation for teaching is her love of fostering each child’s natural curiosity, which she believes is essential in developing a lifetime love of learning. Ms. Elena has a passion for creativity and loves helping to create a nurturing and stimulating environment in which children can explore and lean at their own pace.

Ms. Elena has an unrelenting fascination with the world we live in and is an avid lifetime leaner. She has a wide range of personal interests and hobbies, including acting, writing, videography, dance, folklore, education, and nature exploration. Ms. Elena has spent many years working with young children in a variety of settings; she was a summer camp counselor, a former nanny, a Girl Scout leader and a volunteer at the zoo. She is currently working on her certification through MWEI and is very excited to expand her knowledge of the Montessori Method.