Spotlight Post: Melissa Snyder

Posted on by Helena Eddings

Melissa Snyder has been teaching at West Side Montessori for 13 years. She is an American Montessori Society team member and is currently a member of the ELF program (The American Montessori Society’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program). Melissa is passionate about Montessori and loves the way the children are in charge of their learning and how Montessori education educates the whole child. Check our her spotlight post to learn more.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?

I’m from a small farm town about an hour and forty-five minutes southwest of Toledo. I have a Bachelors of Science in Education (pre-k through 3rd) from Ohio Dominican University, an Ohio teaching license, and an Early Childhood (3-6) Montessori credential. This is my 13th year here at West Side and the time has flown by. I love reading, watching Masterpiece Theatre, shoes and bargain shopping, and sports. My dream is to see the Montessori philosophy in schools everywhere and available to everyone. I am so excited to be a part of the ELF (Emerging Leaders Fellowship) program through AMS for the next year. It’s a great opportunity for me to learn from an AMS appointed mentor and to attend some professional development at the next two AMS conferences in Denver and Washington, D.C.  

Q: What do you love about Montessori?

There are so many things that I love about Montessori. I love the beautiful hands-on materials and the way an expertly arranged classroom calls to children. I love the respect that is taught and given to children. I love the way the children are in charge of their learning and how Montessori education educates the whole child.


Q: What is your favorite area in the classroom and why?

There are particular materials that I favor over others but I don’t have a favorite area of the classroom. I think the classroom as a whole offers so much more than any individual area. However, my favorite materials are the geography puzzle maps and the sensorial cubes. I’m obsessed!

Q: What first appealed to you about Montessori?

The first thing that appealed to me about Montessori was the confidence and independence I saw while watching the children. The teachers were so calm and reassuring.

Q: What advice do you have for new Montessori adults?

It’s important to give choices when you can and let the child do for herself.  

Q: Why did you choose to teach/work here?

I chose to work here because West Side really cares about the children and their families. We are always trying to do what is best for the child short and long term. The people who work here are amazing. They work so hard and care so much.

Q: What motivated you to go into teaching/working at a school?

My love of children and learning motivated me to become a teacher. I thoroughly enjoy watching as a child bursts with pride and excitement as he/ she learns something new. I also have a very playful, childlike spirit. Working with children rejuvenates my soul.

Q: How did student inspire/motivate you?

My 3-6-year-olds motivate me to be a better person every day. I want to be a role model they can learn important life lessons from. Their innocent honesty can be brutal, refreshing, and/or hilarious.

Q: What’s the most important life lesson you’d like to share with your students?

A big life lesson I want my students to internalize is to keep trying.  You are going to make mistakes and it’s OKAY.  I make mistakes all of the time and make sure to point it out when it’s a teachable moment.


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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.