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The Montessori Teacher

The teacher has two tasks:   To lead the children to concentration and to help them in their development afterwards.
– Maria Montessori,  The Child, Society & the World

One of the differences between Montessori teachers and traditional teachers is the enormous trust Montessori teachers place in the developmental abilities of each child. Montessori teachers are called “guides,” “directors,” or “directresses”.  They are not the center of attention in the classroom. Their role centers on the preparation and organization of learning materials to meet the needs and interests of each Montessori child. The focus is on children learning, not on teachers teaching. She uses keen observation skills to guide or direct the child.  The directress observes the right time to entice the child to a higher level of learning perfect for the individual child’s ability.   It takes a tremendous amount of faith to “follow the child”. It is so much easier to say to the children, follow where I lead and no one will get lost. Nonetheless, with careful observation and planning, Montessori guides remain constantly alert to the direction each child is heading and actively works to help them succeed.

Brilliant Futures Montessori takes pride in hiring the highest quality Early Childhood Educators with Montessori training from MACTE and the Association Montessori Internationale recognized training centres. Brilliant Futures Montessori has a highly qualified group of dedicated colleagues who provide an authentic nurturing Montessori Program.  They are qualified to teach children and develop programming for their specific age group through training recognized by The Association Montessori International (AMI) and MACTE.

“The AMI is the only Montessori teacher training organization to issue a diploma bearing Dr. Maria Montessori’s signature. This diploma is recognized worldwide and is issued by the head office in Amsterdam. Dr. Maria Montessori, along with her son Mario M. Montessori, founded the AMI, which is entrusted with ensuring that Maria Montessori’s educational guidelines and standards are upheld.  AMI is the pedagogical authority that directs and supervises AMI training centres throughout the world.  AMI diploma holders are respected for their depth and breadth of knowledge regarding child development and Montessori education.”
Quoted from The Foundation for Montessori Education website


The Faculty

Melissa Kachur - Head of School & Casa Community Teacher

Melissa’s career interests changed after she graduated from Niagara College receiving her Law and Security Administration Diploma.  She continued her education at Carleton University achieving her Bachelor of Arts with triple majors in Law, Sociology and Anthropology. She continued her schooling at Brock University for Post-grad studies in Politics and Management and the University of Waterloo for Religious Studies.

During her university years, Melissa was an active counsellor of the Peer Counselling Centre on campus and played an active role as volunteer in the Campus Safety Program assisting the security personnel with the protection of students attending classes at the university.  Upon graduation, she volunteered with The Federal Parole Office for many years and also with Women’s Place helping women and children at the shelter with legal assistance, counselling and crisis intervention.   Melissa’s desire for the well-being of children grew when she volunteered with Junior Achievement as a Business Basics teacher.  During her 3 years of teaching the Business Basic Program to Grade 5 & 6 students, professionals often noted her patience and strong ability to engage the student’s interest on the topic presented.  This solidified Melissa’s passion for teaching children and helping them grow.  Melissa conducted her own research to find the best quality education programs for developing young minds. After extensive study, Melissa discovered that the Montessori Pedagogy was most conducive to her own beliefs of educating children.

Melissa furthered her education to become an Internationally Certified AMI Primary Montessori Teacher from the Foundation for Montessori Education Training Centre in Toronto. While teaching at several Montessori schools over the years, Melissa tutored children and operated her own successful Montessori learning programs from her home during the summer months.

Most of Melissa’s community involvement revolved around children.  Besides volunteering as a soccer coach, for many years she took the responsibility of St. Mary’s Church Children Liturgy coordinator developing, organizing and implementing children’s programs for over 70 children from Preschoolers to Grade 6.  This enhanced her 25 years of extensive experience in working with children.

Melissa is a member of the Early Child Care Development Centre and has completed the Quality Child Care Niagara (QCCN) Program completing both Phase 1 & 2 certifying her to use various screening tools to aid in identifying children who may be at risk of developmental delays.

In Melissa’s Words:
Dr. Maria Montessori’s intensive research and observation shows how she truly understood the development of children as they passed each stage in their life.  After over 100 years, the Montessori Pedagogy has continued to stand the test of time by providing the needs of each individual child’s development academically and socially. Over 15 years ago, I learned about this quality education by seeing the benefits of it through my own child who is now in her teen years.  I call myself a Montessori mother and a Montessori teacher.  I am eager to work with all the children to awaken their love for learning and to help them build a strong foundation for a successful future.

Maria Buonpensiero - French / Italian Teacher & Casa Community Assistant

Maria pursued her interest in languages, French, Italian, and Spanish at Brock University receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages.

Just after graduating, Maria had an opportunity to work as a childcare worker at the Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, St. Catharines. This is where she discovered a genuine interest in working with children and sharing their natural curiosity through early learning experiences.

Her experience working with children opened the door to a position of child care provider at various daycares with the Niagara Region. Her love of children to educate them grew stronger. Maria furthered her education at Niagara College to become an Early Childhood Educator. After 2 years she received a Diploma in Early Childhood Education. During her studies at Niagara College, Maria became a peer tutor to students assisting them with English grammar skills.

Following graduation, Maria was employed receiving a position teaching toddlers. She then provided child care for a family in their home. She enjoyed this experience which lead to opening her own child care business. For Maria, this was a new experience as owner and home child care provider which enriched her career in early childhood education.

After many years of staying home with her 2 children, Maria re-entered her career through volunteering at a Montessori Preschool. She specifically offered assistance to children with developmental delays. With this experience, Maria was offered employment as Resource Support through Welland/Pelham Community Living Preschool Services to work with children with Special Needs and Physical Disabilities. While working at a Montessori Preschool, Maria’s role expanded her knowledge and compassion for the uniqueness and special abilities of each child. During that time, Maria also did supply work in Montessori as a Montessori Teacher in the Toddler Program and Casa Program.

In September 2017, Maria became a registered member of the College of Early Childhood Educators, RECE. In June 2017, Maria participated in the Quality Child Care Reflective Practice Institute, Niagara, QCCN, and obtained certification to access children using a variety of tools to help determine the potential for developmental delays.  The summer of 2019, Maria completed she Montessori training through AMI’s Foundation for Montessori Education training centre in Toronto.

In Maria’s Words:
Each child is a unique person with a natural curiosity to experience their world and to become independent learners. As an early childhood educator, I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of children, one step at a time.

Hannah Houston - Casa Community Lead Teacher

Ever since the age of six, Hannah knew she was meant to be a teacher. In 2012, Hannah followed her heart and began her educational career at Brock University in the concurrent education program. Here she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Studies and a Bachelor of Education in the primary/junior sector. Throughout her six years of studies, Hannah developed an understanding of child social, emotional, and intellectual development and effective and appropriate teaching practices. Towards the end of her educational career, Hannah began to realize that traditional teaching was not in her heart, and began to seek alternative forms of education following graduation.  Upon discovering the Montessori pedagogy, Hannah realized these beliefs and morals reflected what she believed education to be all about: celebrating children’s unique strengths and interests, and fostering the belief of infinite capability.

In Hannah’s words:

“As an educator, it is our job to foster a life-long love of learning and provide opportunities for the development of all areas of the child – academic, social, emotional and spiritual. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to utilize my teacher education background and my Montessori beliefs to support the development of children in our community.”

Sandra Fenwick - Toddler Community Lead Teacher

Sandra is a welcomed addition to BFM.  She bio will be uploaded soon.

Join us at
Brilliant Futures Montessori

We welcome children from the entire Niagara Region. We are located in the north end of St. Catharines at 325 Scott St.  Book a tour today to see how a Montessori experience can benefit your child. Please call (905) 935-1092 for a personalized tour.