Spotlight Post: Mary Brandon
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?
I dream of a day when Montessori will be available to every family who wishes to send their children to a Montessori school. I dream of a day when we will have a Montessori High School at WSM. I have a lot of dreams, interests, and aspirations – I’d have to live ten lifetimes to fit them all in. My greatest accomplishment is raising four amazing people – Aaron, Robert, Parker, and Kevin. They bring me joy and make me proud every day.
Q: What do you love about Montessori?
We keep the love of learning alive in our students.
Q: What is your favorite area in the classroom and why?
I love our small group collaboration area in my language arts room. It allows our middle school students to work cooperatively. They have access to large and small white boards, laptops, a beautiful view of our grounds, and many seating choices to meet their needs.
Q: What would you tell a prospective family about West Side?
In middle school we do a lot of work and have a lot of fun. We love our students and strive to inspire them each day as much as they inspire us.
Q: What first appealed to you about Montessori?
The work ethic of the students and teachers appealed to me. Students were truly intrinsically motivated. Students were treated with grace and courtesy. As a result, the relationships between students and teachers was different compared to any other school I’d attended or observed.
Q: What continues to inspire you about Montessori?
Every Montessorian I meet inspires me. Going through Montessori training is a transformative experience. I can’t get enough of working with my amazing peers.
Q: Why did you choose to teach/work here?
West Side is a family. I’ve truly loved every teacher I’ve worked with, every teacher who has taught my own children, and all of my students and their parents. We have the best people in the world at our school.
Q: What motivated you to go into teaching/working at a school?
My oldest son started kindergarten at our local public school and I thought – we as a society need to do better; I can do better. I’ve always believed if I’m not part of the solution I am part of the problem. I wanted to improve education for my son and all children. So, I became a teacher.
Q: What’s the most important life lesson you’d like to share with your students?
Be yourself. I am myself 100 percent of the time with my students. We should all celebrate who we are. We are all worthy of love. We are all amazing individuals. We all have something good to offer.
Q; How do students inspire/motivate you?
My students’ excitement for reading, writing, and community service inspires me to create meaningful work for them and to provide opportunities for them to change the world around them for the better. I truly believe our students will change the world because they’ve changed my life.
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.