What it’s like to work as a Lead Teacher at a CA Montessori Children’s Center
We’re celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by introducing some of the outstanding Teachers at our company-subsidized, on-site Montessori Centers, which CA has provided for the past 25 years in our larger global offices for the children and family members of our employees. This profile of one of our Montessori Lead Teachers is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
Katie has been a preschool teacher for 7 years, six of those at the CA Technologies Montessori Children’s Center in Framingham, MA, where she teaches children from 3 to 6 years old. She’s wanted to be a teacher ever since she can remember.
“As a teenager, all my jobs revolved around children, working at camps, afterschool programs, etc. Those experiences finalized my decision to pursue a career as a teacher.”
Katie went to school with a focus on Early Childhood Education. Through her student teaching and practicums, she fell in love with working in preschool environments.
When she’s not teaching, Katie and her husband love to travel to new places or visit friends and family. She also volunteers as a coach for a youth lacrosse team in her town. “I played in college and have loved introducing the game to 9- and 10-year old girls. Seeing them enjoy the game the way I have is really rewarding!” she said.
A typical day
The first thing Katie does in the morning is set up her classroom to make sure she’s prepared for the day. The Center opens at 8:00 a.m., with children coming in throughout the morning depending on their parents’ work schedule. She greets the children as they come in and they spend time talking while enjoying breakfast. After breakfast, the children begin their work cycle. During this time, Katie works with the children individually, or in small groups.
“This teaching philosophy can take me from multiplication with one child to reading with another, or washing a table. I love being able to work one-on-one with the children, as it allows me to build individual relationships better than I can when working with large groups.”
After a three-hour work cycle, they go outside, where the children have opportunities to ride bikes, play in the sandbox, or use their imaginations to open an ice cream shop. Then it’s time for lunch.
“We eat our meals family style so we can sit and talk and enjoy lunch together. This is a wonderful time to connect as a group, before the children lay down for their nap.”
After nap time ends, around 3 p.m., there are snacks and thematic activities based on current events and the interests of the children.
“Every day follows the same schedule, but can be so different based on the children and their interests.”
We asked Katie what she feels is the best part of the center.
“The best part about the center is the team I work with. There are seven of us right now, and we really work well together to support each other and the children. Having relocated, I have really loved getting to know and build relationships with my coworkers.”
As for her classroom, she says the best part besides the children is the environment and Nala, the class’ pet rabbit.
“The best part of the classroom is how it promotes the children to be independent and a part of their own community. The room is warm and welcoming and meant to feel like a children’s house. The children have opportunities to interact with beautiful materials and make their own connections to the world around them.
“The children adore Nala and make sure that she is well taken care of. She hops around the room during our day and joins us outside when it’s nice out. Watching the children understand the responsibility and needs of an animal at this age is such a wonderful experience.”
Katie also loves hosting Center events.
“For the Olympics this year, we hosted an Olympic day with winter events and a photo booth. Having Center celebrations for holidays and events is such a special part of our school culture.”
All employees of the CA Montessori Children’s Centers enjoy the full array of CA benefits. Katie said that CA’s commitment to education and training has been a large part of her role at the center.
“I was sent to AMI training in Dallas for three summers to learn the Montessori philosophy and my role as a lead teacher. CA sponsored the program and covered the expenses to travel and live in Texas. Working for a company that values ongoing education and personal growth is important to me.”
We asked Katie what advice she would give to teachers about working for tech company-subsidized school, as opposed to a more traditional setting.
“Working for a school that is sponsored by a tech company creates such a wonderful, welcoming community. The parents can come down and visit, have lunch and participate in center events. You feel like you are part of a larger community than just a school, which is a uniquely positive aspect to our program.
“The peace of mind that CA provides its employees by allowing them to take such an active role in their child’s day is special. They have made a commitment to the importance of early education, and I love being a part of their mission.”