Spotlight Post: Lauren Tracy
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My husband, two children, and I now reside in Sylvania Township. I hold dual Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Special Education and a Masters’ Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to working at WSM, I was a Moderate-Intense Intervention Specialist, and then a Kindergarten teacher at Sylvania Schools.
Q: What’s your favorite Montessori quote?
“It is surprising to notice that even from the earliest age, man finds the greatest satisfaction in feeling independent. The exalting feeling of being sufficient to oneself comes as a revelation.” -Maria Montessori
Q: What do you love about Montessori?
I love how our children are exposed to the world! It saddens me that so much geography and world culture studies have been eliminated from Common Core Standards. If the first step of understanding is knowledge, then it makes sense that children need to be given a glimpse into other ways of living. Learning about other cultures goes beyond our exceptional Geography and World Language curriculums at WSM. From toddlerhood through adolescence, Montessori children are immersed into other cultures through song, literature, foods, dance and so much more. What a gift!
Q: What is your favorite area in the classroom and why?
Math! Math was always my least favorite subject in school. I never fully grasped mathematical concepts, and felt that I was just a weak math student. The first time I visited a Children’s House Montessori classroom, I was on a tour with my son. I was a Kindergarten teacher at the time. I remember thinking to myself, “Why is math not taught this way to everyone?” I’m confident that had I received Montessori education myself, my outlook on math would be completely different! I love observing Montessori math lessons. They make complete sense to me!
Q: What would you tell a prospective family about West Side?
Keep an open mind and trust the process! The experience your child will have at WSM is unlike any other.
Q: Do you have a favorite book? How about a film?
My favorite books are The Book of Joy, Of Mice and Men, Happiness, and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Q: What first appealed to you about Montessori?
So many things… The small teacher to student ratio, the curriculum, the peace education, the personalized curriculum for each child, the independence… I could honestly go on and on!
Q: What advice do you have for new Montessori adults?
Your children are capable of so much more than you ever imagined. The hardest part is not standing in their way!
Q: What advice do you have for new parents trying to incorporate Montessori at home?
Observe and listen to your children. They are communicating things to you all the time. We just need to be ready to receive their message.
Q: What continues to inspire you about Montessori?
Montessori is so much more than an educational philosophy. It is a way of being that fosters seeing the beauty in those around you. When Montessori educators are teaching to the “Whole Child,” they are embracing the child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Q: Why did you choose to teach/work here?
Special Education has always been a passion for me. The beauty of Special Education is that its primary focus is on an educational plan that is tailored to each individual. In Montessori, all students receive a very special education – one that meets their needs alone. Teachers are able to extend lessons to meet the needs of our most gifted children while modifying and remediating other skills for our children with learning differences. What is even more touching is that the children respect the needs of each other in such a compassionate way. Montessori children understand that what is fair is not always equal.
Q: What motivated you to go into teaching/working at a school?
I had hoped that I could be a part of helping shape young people into adults in some small way.
Q: What is the most important life lesson you’d like to share with your students?
Always be kind. You never know what someone else is enduring behind closed doors. You will never regret being respectful and kind to others.
Q: How do students inspire/motivate you?
The students at WSM are a constant source of inspiration to me. They work so hard at becoming the best versions of themselves. The Middle Schoolers take on grand projects to make the world a better place. Our students are not afraid of a challenge. They welcome it!
West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.