It is with great joy that we introduce the newest member of our team. Melissa Fox joined the VdM community in January as our resident Reading Specialist. Melissa has been diligently working to support the children in our environments. We are so happy to have her!
Describe your educational background.
I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and Master’s Degree with Reading Specialization from Webster University in 2001.
How/when did you become interested in education?
I first became interested in education when I was a sophomore in high school. My high school had a fellowship in which students earned school credit for teaching ecology in partnership with Missouri Botanical Garden. I continued to pursue this passion for education throughout my high school and college years with Missouri Botanical Garden.
My dedication to teaching reading developed during my first of five years of teaching first grade. I wanted to find out more about this magical time in a children’s development as they move from being emergent to fluent readers and writers. I quickly moved from teaching the sciences, to find my love for coaching literacy.
What has been the BEST part of your Montessori experience so far?
Every day I wake up and am thrilled to grow and learn with the students. Many of the foundations of Montessori are ingrained in my overall understanding of a child’s path of learning to speak, read and write. I see all of my coaching for literacy as a pathway of lifelong communication. I love working in an environment that understands and captures this underlying principle. “The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” – Maria Montessori
What do you enjoy doing outside of your time at VdM?
I enjoy spending time with my three children and husband. I love being in the outdoors, physical fitness, and of course, reading books!
If you were to plan a most perfect, relaxing weekend day, what would it entail?
An ideal weekend day would be a spending a spring day at Innsbrook without ANY school activities, sports or commitments. My family and I would have brunch together, go for a long walk with the dogs and play board or card games. ☺
What is something you look forward to this school year?
I look forward to getting to know the students, staff, and better understanding the Villa di Maria community. From meeting Clover the bunny to each student, each day has been a joy, and I am looking forward to many more.
Book: Too many to list!
Childhood book: The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
Read-aloud Book: The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Adult Book Read in Recent Years: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Holiday: 4th of July
Movie: Dead Man Walking
Hobby: Walking my dogs
Type of music: Pop, jazz, country, classical and after a long day, silence ☺
Song: “Living in the Country” by George Winston
Restaurant in St. Louis: Brasserie by Niche
Vacation: Destin, Florida
Sport: Any sport where I can cheer for my children
Game: Hearts and Spades
If you had to choose ONE:
Rain or Snow: Snow
Coffee or Tea: Coffee
Morning or Night: Morning
Ocean or Lake: Ocean
Dog or Cat: DOGS, you can never have too many
Talk or Listen: Listen
Walk or Run: Walk
Save or Spend: Save
Bike or Swim: Bike
Salt or Pepper: Salt
Realistic Fiction or Fantasy: Realistic fiction
Summer or Winter: Summer
New York or California: New York; that is where my husband lived when we met!
Cook or Dine Out: Dine out