As part of a series we’re calling Who We Are, we’re working to build and connect our community by interviewing the talented, dynamic parents and staff who make up the people of Villa di Maria. Today, we meet Adina Rey, mother of two children new to Villa this year: a son in Lower Elementary and a son in Upper Elementary. She is also a Den Parent for the Lower Elementary Racks and Tubes classroom, heading up out-of-school get-togethers, including the upcoming visit to Tilles Park for a carriage ride to enjoy the holiday lights at the end of the month. Welcome, Adina, and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!
VdM: What do you do (career-wise and any hobbies)? Can you tell us a bit about how you came to Villa di Maria as a new family this year?
Adina Rey: When I am not home with my family, I work as a Nurse Practitioner in the role of a Hospitalist at a community hospital. During my time off, I enjoy traveling and spending time outdoors with my family. We love to hike, fish, bike ride, and camp.
Our family came to Villa di Maria as the enrollment at our previous AMI school was dwindling and we knew it was time for a change. We chose Villa due to the school’s fabulous reputation among local Montessorians. The school is known to be the most authentic AMI school in the area, and the teachers are all well respected among the Montessori community.
VdM: What drew you and your husband to Montessori education in general? What do you love most about it?
AR: I first learned of Montessori education during my undergraduate studies in Human Development, long before I had children. The concept was intriguing and made sense to me. Later, when my oldest son was three he had already mastered the concepts presented in the public school preschool curriculum, and the school was unable to present new material to challenge him. It was then that I recalled what I had learned of Montessori education and we enrolled him in an AMI school and never looked back.
What I love about Montessori education is that it embraces and appeals to the uniqueness and strengths of each individual child. It is always fascinating to observe and witness the children engaged and thriving within their classroom environment. I am always impressed with the confidence of the children, and their social mannerisms.
VdM: Do you have any stories of Montessori moments outside of school with your children?
AR: Just today, I took my children and several of their Villa friends to play at a park on our way to school. We came across a street sign that looked to have been vandalized and left at the park. The children immediately and spontaneously began to question the social implications of the act of vandalism. They also investigated and compared the street sign to other street signs in the area and determined that it came from a major intersection. They requested use of my phone and used Google Maps to locate the specific street the sign came from, and pondered how they may return the sign and enact justice. The children ranged in age from 3 to 10, and all were engaged. It was wonderful to observe their teamwork and critical thinking at work.
VdM: What advice would you give to parents who are curious about Montessori education?
AR: I would advise any parent to observe a primary, lower elementary, and upper elementary classroom at work. Regardless of the age of their child at the time, it is beneficial to see all of the classrooms and the consistency and progression of the program. I would also encourage those interested to contact with a current Montessori parent to ask any questions or address any of their concerns. And finally, I would encourage the parent to ask about the accreditation of the school they are looking into; unfortunately, not all Montessori programs are as authentic as Villa di Maria.
Thank you, Adina, for all that you and your family contribute to the Villa di Maria community! We are so glad you are here!