The very best part of Villa di Maria is our people. Our community of families, faculty and staff is something to be proud of. In this series, We are VdM, we’ll highlight the energies, talents, humor and wisdom of some of our amazing people. Today, we’ll get to know Martha Erickson, our new and wonderful office coordinator. Though the Erickson family is not new to our VdM family (Arthur-Checkerboard, Miles-P3), having Martha on staff this Fall has brought welcome support and efficiency to our admin team! We became acquainted with her many talents and warm personality last year as a floater in several classrooms and we couldn’t be happier to have more of her lovely presence every day this year.
Tell us a bit about your day to day at VdM…
I may arguably have the best position at Villa di Maria. I am fortunate to interact with parents, staff, visitors, and children on a daily basis. You’ll often find me at pick-up and drop-off. If I’m not there, it’s because I’m subbing in one of our magical classrooms. I’m your go-to person for any questions about logistics during the school day and if you have inquiries about admissions or enrollment. I love that I get to connect with every single person on campus!
How did you discover Montessori/VdM? What’s your background?
I graduated college with a degree in Early Childhood and worked as a preschool teacher at New City School from 2009-2015. I had been exposed to the Montessori Method in some of my undergraduate classes, but took a deep dive into the literature after a colleague told me about her past experiences in a Montessori classroom. With each piece of information I’d receive, I became more and more enthralled with Montessori teachings. I feel like I see a clear picture of child development when I look through the lens of Maria Montessori. It has been a wonderful tool as a parent and I’m so grateful my children get to experience this type of education.
What is something you love about the Montessori method?
There are many things I love about the Montessori method. The first thing I love is that it really allows the child to be seen. By that I mean that they are seen for their abilities and those abilities are honored. They are given the chance to progress at their own rate, both socially and academically. Another thing I love about Montessori is that it preserves childhood. In a world that is fast paced, so technologically driven and encourages us to push, push, push, Montessori offers a breather. Children are given time to explore at their own pace. The expectations placed upon them are ones driven from individual observation and careful consideration to their specific plane of development. Specifically at Villa, the campus is a wonderland of possibilities and even better, they are given the TIME to exercise that childhood magic.
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
My favorite thing to do on a weekend is spend time with my family, whether we’re going on a hike, camping, BBQing, going out to dinner, watching a movie or whatever else, as long as we’re together. This is not to say that I also appreciate my alone time very much. You can find me with a book, a yoga mat or my group of close girlfriends and a content expression on my face.
What was your favorite book as a child and why?
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. I still read it often because it takes me to a beautiful place with a message that inspires me.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a singer and actor on Broadway!
Thanks for sharing with us, Martha! We’re so glad you’re on the team!