Staff Spotlight: Sarah Bell

Sarah Bell is passionate about guiding Middle School students not only with academic competencies but with social and emotional proficiencies as well.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams.

I grew up in a small town out in Williams County.  Growing up, music and French were my passions.  I was fortunate to begin studying abroad at age 15.  From there, I got my BA in International Studies and French and eventually went on to get my Master’s in Education Policy.  As an adult, I have rediscovered my passion for music, and I teach piano and voice lessons in the evenings.
Q: What’s your favorite Montessori quote?
“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”
Q: What do you love about Montessori?
I love the independence we foster in our students and the community that we build.
Q: What is your favorite area in the classroom and why?
Well, I teach Social studies and Math, so those are my favorite subjects!
Q: What would you tell a prospective family about West Side?
Our graduates leave West Side with skills that set them up for success in high school and beyond.  We don’t just provide our students with academic competencies, but with social and emotional proficiencies as well.
Q: Do you have a favorite book? How about a film?
My favorite book is 100 Years of Solitude and my favorite movie is Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Q: What first appealed to you about Montessori?
I loved how self-directed the program is.  Students have tasks to complete and they are given time to do so. 
Q: What advice do you have for new Montessori adults?
Trust the process.
Q: What advice do you have for new parents trying to incorporate Montessori at home?
Trust the process and be consistent. 
Q: What continues to inspire you about Montessori?
Every day is a new adventure.  I am constantly challenged to engage my students in new and exciting ways. 
Q: Why did you choose to teach/work here?
It was a happy accident that I sort of fell in to.  Within a few months’ time, however, I fell in love with the community.
Q: What motivated you to go into teaching/working at a school?
I love to teach.  I come from a family of educators and felt the call shortly after grad school. 
Q: What's the most important life lesson you'd like to share with your students? (How is this conveyed in your classroom?)
You are loved.  Just for being you.
Q; How do students inspire/motivate you?
Each day they challenge me to be a better educator and a better human being.