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 meet Shannon O’Connell, afternoon assistant in the P1 Children’s House classroom. We are delighted Shannon re-joined our team this Fall! Shannon first worked at VdM as a floater and late stay staff, where she fell in love with the Montessori approach and consequently pursued AMI certification for Primary (ages 3-6 years). She returns to campus with diploma in hand and is a welcome addition to the P1 community!
How did you discover Montessori?
What is something you love about the Montessori approach?
There are so many things I love about the Montessori approach, but the main thing is that I love that Montessori isn’t only about the academics, it’s about the whole child. As they say in training, we are giving them the keys to the world. It amazes me every single day seeing children achieve functional independence and observing them work on developing their will. I love that Montessori offers grace and courtesy (Grace and Courtesy presentation may include how to greet, how to introduce, how to get the guide’s attention, how to walk around a rug, how to give and receive a present, how to ask someone to observe their work, how to have a polite mealtime conversation etc.). Together, Grace and Courtesy create a human who is socially conscious.
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
My absolute favorite thing to do on the weekend is have a picnic on Art Hill and maybe read a book and then go visit my favorite pieces of art at the Art Museum.
What was your favorite book as a child and why?
I was gifted the complete collections of Winnie The Pooh by A. A. Milne as a child and those were my favorites. I loved the adventures that they all went on, looking for Heffalumps or finding replacements for Eeyore’s tail. Eeyore has always been my favorite character of that bunch.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to produce television (the next Aaron Spelling) or produce movies. Although I didn’t quite make it to Hollywood, I have become the “go to” person for any video needs from anyone in my family, including my nephew.