All Preschool teachers at Shawnigan Lake Montessori Preschool and Childcare are registered through the province and hold current first aid tickets, have passed criminal record checks and have experience working with young children.
We believe strongly in employing teachers who listen and engage your child to encourage the best possible learning experience in their early learning years.
I first became interested in Montessori education when I was 21. I was working as a substitute teacher in a Montessori Preschool in Victoria during 6 months of traveling around Canada, prior to my decision to immigrate to Canada. Several years later, while helping my husband to build a house on Pender Island our daughter attended a small Montessori preschool and I was inspired by her wonderful Montessori teacher to go on and take the Montessori teacher training at St Nicholas Montessori Centre in London when we returned to live in Britain.I then taught in Montessori schools in England and Scotland for 9 years, 4 years of which was as Head Teacher of a small rural School in the Scottish Glens.
On our return to Canada in 2003 I was fortunate to find a Montessori school that was a good fit for both my daughter and myself. I taught for 4 years at West-Mont Montessori School in Metchosin in their pre-school/kindergarten class. I then became the instructor of the West-Mont Montessori Teacher Training program in 2009 and started working part-time as Head Teacher at Shawnigan Lake Montessori. I left to begin my own Montessori program, Cedar Montessori, but was excited to return to join Keith Bennett when he took over the school in 2015.
I really do have the very best of job combinations; spending my days in a beautiful Montessori environment, supporting children in their love of learning and also spending time sharing my passion for Montessori education with future Montessori teachers!
I was born and raised in Prince Rupert. My family lineage is comprised of teachers: my mother had a degree in bio-chemistry; my father was a vice principal in Prince Rupert; my grandmother taught in Port Alberni in the 1920’s.
My formal education originated in music and culminated with a music diploma and grade 10 Royal Conservatory. I continue to pursue my passion for music at the piano.
It was my background in small business that led me to join Four Seasons in the capacity of ‘retooling’ the administration. I soon fell in love with the Montessori method and purchased Four Seasons Montessori school in September 2010 and Shawnigan Lake Montessori in September 2015.
My dedication to Montessori as an educational model is reflected by my work with the Vancouver Island Montessori Association and professional development in Early Childhood Education.
One day, I noticed the Slave Lake daycare was hiring, and having taken care of my younger sister on summers off for so many years and thinking about my enjoyment of looking after her, I decided I was going to hand in a resume to the daycare center. A few months later, I got hired and it changed my life. I realized my purpose in life was to work with children and families. I never felt happier, except, I could not shake the feeling that traditional ‘childcare’ didn’t feel quite right, there had to be a better environment for children to thrive in.
I began taking my ECE through Grande Prairie Regional Collage, but shortly later made a decision to move back to Calgary to be closer with my family. Upon moving to Calgary, I got hired at Inverliegh Montessori School and Childcare. They had both a traditional play based program and a Montessori program, having never understood fully what Montessori was, I got hired for the play based program. In 2014, an opportunity came around and I was offered a position in the Montessori classroom and training if I wanted to take the position. Having spent a bit of time in the classroom, covering other staff if they were sick, I jumped at the opportunity.
I fell in love with the ideas of peace education and Montessori’s ideas that included independence within the child. I loved that children were able to use real things in the classroom, like glass plates and bowls, etc. After I completed my Montessori training through NAMC and my ECE through Grande Prairie Regional Collage, I felt a calling to Vancouver Island. My boyfriend and I were tired of the city life and longed for a better lifestyle. We made the decision to move in July 2017. It was a big move but I am so glad I made it.
Things fell into place very quickly for me and only two days after moving here, I met Nicky and knew almost immediately that this was where I was meant to be. I am thrilled to be part of the Shawnigan Lake Montessori team and am looking forward to spending many years in the Arbutus classroom while learning more about Montessori along the way.
Peace Education and Environmental Awareness are at the forefront of her approach in the
classroom. Respect for each child and their unique capabilities is what originally drew her to
Beth is a passionate Montessorian and both of her boys have attended Montessori schools, as
well as using the Montessori philosophy in the home from birth.
She is an active member of both the British Columbia Montessori Association Board of Directors
and Montessori for Social Justice. She is also the owner of Our Montessori Life a resource for homes and schools in search of implementing or strengthening their use of the Montessori pedagogy.
It is observing the calm and purposeful work of the young child that drives Beth’s passion.
Leanne is at SLM as an Early Childhood Educator with valuable experience and training of the Montessori method. Leanne is dedicated to building a child’s self-esteem while fostering a love of learning in children in order to provide a solid foundation for their future learning. She is attentive to providing the best prepared environment and experience for children during these critical, formative learning years.
Leanne completed her ECE training from Pacific Rim Early Childhood Institute while working in preschools- directly using her training. She enhanced her skills with Montessori training under Nicky MacDonald from Westmont Montessori where she attended, fully participated and audited their fourteen month Montessori Teacher Training Program. She has a background as a Community Support Worker and Education Assistant-working specifically with individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing as well as supporting other individuals with a multitude of varying disabilities.
Leanne completed the American Sign Language studies program at Vancouver Community College. In actuality her journey towards ECE began 18 years ago as a mother, it was then her career path changed from CSW and she began working directly with children: as a mother, home daycare provider and later ECE Assistant supporting preschool age children with disabilities in the classroom- leading to where she is now.
Leanne can also be seen as a creative story teller-combining books with props and using ‘storey baskets’ to provide an enhanced learning experience, to engage the learner and just plain fun. Welcome back Leanne.
I love Nature, cooking and meditation, hiking, First Nations culture, reading, dancing… I enjoy life for each moment she gives to us, the best like the less best…
After more than 10 years as Communication Manager, I have decided in 2014 to give another sense to my life and to help people to find their place. I thought that the best place was to work with children in their childhood experiences. Montessori was a revelation for me to empower children and make them flourish. During my professional reconversion, I did a lot of changes that opened me a new world: training to work in leisure center, Montessori training, Baby sign Language training and workshops for parents and professional, create an association for parents, start a company, manage a scientific leisure centre and prepare our big move to Canada with a Canadian training to be ECE assistant. It was 2 busy years … full of joy and meets. I started working as Montessori teacher in November 2015 during 2 years, being full time and pedagogical Director during one year, in an
alternative school with children from 3 to 12 years old. One of the best years of my professional life. I continue my training to become Early Childhood Educator. I will do my best to instill the French language to your child and I am sure she or he will help me
continue my permanent English training.