The role of the teacher in a Montessori school is very different to that in a traditional school. The Montessori teacher has more the role of a guide. Relationships between teachers and children become very deep as the child is usually with the same teacher for three school years. Children call their teachers by their first name.
Our native speaker teachers are Montessori trained in a variety of training centres around the world.
Our Polish teachers follow the Montessori Teacher Diploma Courses run by the Polish Montessori Institute. These are thorough and demanding training courses consisting of 452 contact hours. 252 hours are made up of input sessions, seminars and workshops on a variety of theoretical and practical subjects. The remaining 200 hours represent a 5 week teaching practice placement in an approved preschool/school and supervised by experienced teacher training mentor. Trainees are also required to pass a series of practical teaching exams in order to qualify for the final diploma.
Bronwen Allen, Education Director
Bronwen Allen was born in Canada where she attended an English-French bilingual Montessori preschool herself as a three year old. She then grew up and was educated in England from the age of four, graduating with a degree in theology from the University of Durham in 1997.
She then came to Poland to qualify and work as an English teacher in private language schools, specialising in the area of teaching younger learners. She is qualified in educational management and has twelve years of experience in this area in English language schools. She is a qualified teacher trainer for the University of Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) qualification.
She is married to a Polish husband and is the mother of two bilingual children - a daughter and a son – both under the age of seven. She has lived in Poland for seventeen years and in Katowice for twelve years.
‘I am passionate about education, the English language, bilingualism and the Montessori method. I love the satisfaction that comes from seeing children blossom in the Montessori learning environment. I am deeply convinced that the educational environment of international exchange, combined with the Montessori method offers a unique and very special experience for our children.’
Bronwen Allen has worked at the school since 2012.
Preschool Team – Wspólna site
Merle Marie, Lead Native Speaker Preschool Teacher
‘I was born and raised in South Africa, where I studied and I received my Teaching Diploma in the Montessori method in 2011. I worked in South Africa for two years as a teacher, although Poland is my first working experience outside my home country. My first impression of Poland was how friendly and curious people are because I am different. I had the opportunity to do a bit of traveling around Poland and I was amazed by the beauty of this country so far from Africa. I enjoy working here in Poland especially at the English Montessori School, as I teach the children English and they in return teach me Polish. As a preschool teacher with now four years’ experience, I know the importance and responsibility of setting a good example as a teacher for the children to look up to.’
Merle Marie has worked at the school since 2012.
Andrew Hopkins, Lead Native Speaker Preschool Teacher
'I am originally from Cornwall in the Southwest of England, but previously lived in Glasgow, Scotland. There I trained as a child development officer working in a baby room and also gained experience with children on the autistic spectrum as an Art teacher and play worker. I graduated from Birmingham City University with a Fine Art degree in 2010, and since then discovered a love for Montessori, her words and her method. I am excited by my opportunity to be in Poland and learn about its hard and diverse history as well as study and delve into the world of Maria Montessori. Most importantly, this Journey provides me with the gift of meeting lots of remarkable children and enthusiastic people, and to play, learn and flourish amongst them.
Andrew Hopkins has worked at the school since 2014.
Julia Alter-Stokowska, Lead Preschool Teacher
‘I graduated in Information Technology and Library Studies and then took a post-graduate degree in Preschool and Early School Education. I am currently studying on the Montessori preschool teacher diploma programme with the Polish Montessori Institute to additionally become a Montessori qualified teacher. From the moment I started working in the school, I enjoy it more and more and here I discovered my vocation for teaching young children. Every child is clever, every child absorbs information in a different way. I try to pass on knowledge to the children to the best of my abilities. The most satisfying thing for me is when a child remembers something that they have learnt through my input.’
Julia Alter-Stokowska has worked at the school since 2011.
Agnieszka Wyrembak, Lead Preschool Teacher
'I graduated in Sociology graduate from the University of Silesia and specialised in social work and social rehabilitation. In June 2014 I qualified as a Montessori preschool teacher with the Polish Montessori Institute. I worked with children and teenagers for nearly 3 years as a social worker where I discovered that the most important thing is respecting the individual needs of each child and showing them respect. I believe that the most valuable gift for the Montessori teacher is the possibility to participate in the discovery of the world by the child and also their experience of joy and providing support in the child's creation of themselves. The words of Montessori are very meaningful for me when she writes: 'We cannot 'teach' the child to be an artist, but we can help him in his development of: 'the eye which sees, the hand which is subservient to the (intellect) soul, which feels'.'
Agnieszka Wyrembak has worked at the school since 2014.
Dawid Guzik, Gymnastics Teacher
‘I am a qualified physiotherapist and I graduated in physiotherapy at the Higher Education College in Dąbrowa Górnicza. I find my work at English Montessori School very rewarding and professionally satisfying. Gymnastics lessons with young children require experience, concentration and responsibility from the teacher. That’s why I give 100% to meet the individual needs of each child. Their smile is the best possible thanks for my work and gives me great satisfaction.’
Dawid Guzik has worked at the school since 2011.
‘Now what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission.’