Staff Spotlight: Sarah Kreinbrink

Sarah Krienbrink has been teaching at WSM for 19 years and is passionate about student-led learning!

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?
My name is Sarah Kreinbrink and I like to keep busy! I have been a teacher here at West Side for 19 years. I have a Bachelor’s of Education and Science in Public Health. I have been married to my husband Aaron for 9 years and we have 2 children at West Side, Carson, 8, and Paige is 5. I currently serve as the Scholastic book coordinator and the chair of the Safety Committee.

Q: What’s your favorite Montessori quote?
While I do not have a favorite quote (there are too many to mention), I share her passion for peace education. I can think of no greater gift than to help children find inner peace and spread it to the world.   
Q: What do you love about Montessori?
I love student-led learning, I love outdoor classrooms, I love guiding during the sensitive periods and not teaching to the test. I love the excitement in our children’s eyes when they come to school, I love fanning the flames of their curiosity.

Q: What is your favorite area in the classroom and why?
My favorite area is the snack table. Nowhere is it more apparent that young toddlers are fully capable human beings. I love that they are trusted with glass and have the opportunity to practice grace and courtesy every day.

Q: What would you tell a prospective family about West Side?
You have to see it to believe it! Observe or take a guided tour. The environment is breath-taking, the curriculum is impressive, the atmosphere is peaceful, and kindness exudes from everyone you will meet.

Q: Do you have a favorite book? How about a film?
The Tao of Montessori is one of my favorite books. I refer to it often. I love any film that my children are into… especially if it allows us to snuggle and watch it together. Current favorite: Cat in the Hat.

Q: What first appealed to you about Montessori?
The multi-age classrooms. We learn from our elders in families, in the workforce, in life… so why not in education?  There is an inherent/ organic leadership preparation for the oldest in the multi-age classrooms as well. It is a win-win for me!

Q: What continues to inspire you about Montessori?
Watching my own children flourish in this environment, and knowing that what we do makes a difference.

Q: Why did you choose to teach/work here?
I fell in love the minute I walked in the door. The teacher/child relationship and the student focus I observed were beyond compare. I didn’t know an educational model such as this existed and I could not wait to learn more!

Q: What motivated you to go into teaching/working at a school?
I never wanted to be a teacher. I always knew I wanted to work with children and I assumed it would be within the medical field. Looking back – I realize now that what I meant was that I never wanted to be a traditional school teacher. When I answered the ad for a preschool teacher at West Side I thought it was just a temporary means to an end. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would change my career trajectory… But I am so happy it did!

Q: What's the most important life lesson you'd like to share with your students? (How is this conveyed in your classroom?)
Take chances and force yourself out of your comfort zone once in a while– you never know where it may take you.