Hi, I'm Ms. Rita!

I speak Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hello dear parents, my name is Rita Santos I am originally from Quito Ecuador, I have a bachelor's in Education and a Montessori teaching diploma, I been working with preschoolers for over 18 years with the Montessori approach. Children love to be independent, independence help to develop their self stem and confidence, they love to explore and learn through play at  their own pace,  that's what my program offers,  also they have the opportunity of learning Spanish with songs, story time, puppet shows, games  since the program is focused in Spanish immersion. 

What's your philosophy on what it means to be a great teacher? In my opinion, and with all years of experience in Early Childhood Education, I found that Montessori approach offers the perfect environment and materials for a child to help him develop  physical and emotional. 

What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a teacher? My sincere advise would be, when you are working with children provide activities in small quantities, depending of their age, children get easily frustrated when they have to many toys around them. Also children love to be independent, guide them show them how to do what they love.

In your opinion, what is the role of the live teacher in a world where it is becoming increasingly easy to get access to information through the internet and online courses? The difference with the live teacher in a classroom is that, she/he can motivate, inspire, and guide.

How can we, as teachers of children, work to build a society where people are respectful towards each other and the environment? As a teachers in a classroom, we are the role model who inspires and encourages our students to succeed,  as a role models we also need to guide our students with  love and respect, in return children are respectful with themselves and their environment.

Who was your favorite teacher and why? My favorite teacher was in middle school, she was my grammar teacher, I always remember her, smiling, explaining the lesson with a lot of patience, she was very kind and respectful with her students.

Share a teaching memory that had a profound impact on you. I remember with my literature teacher we were reading a book about the life of the indigenous people in my country in the early last century, the story was very sad that in each page that we analyzed the injustices in the life of that people she cried, and she said to the class that we need to respect and help the less fortune. My class had such admiration for her kindness and fairness, she was a very special teacher. 

What is your philosophy on and approach to behavioral management? When a child is not behaving or having a tantrum in a group of children, I remove the child from the group and keep him away from couple of minutes until he/she calms down,  then I ask what is the problem that he/she is unhappy, after that conversation I ask the child if he/she wants to return with the group, and if the child says yes, I tell the child what I expect from him/her to stay with the group 

Are there any projects you’ve done (related or unrelated to teaching) that you’d like to share? For mother's day, the children in my program (3 yrs old and 4yrs old group) with our help, organized a party for that special day, when the mothers arrived to the class for the party, each student recited a short verse in Spanish for their moms, after that activity they invited the mothers to have something to eat and each child took a plate a served the food for their moms. The party was a success and the children were so proud of their work.