The Lower Elementary Program
In Lower Elementary, we nurture the immense potential within every child. The children discover a continuation of their learning from the Preschool level in an attractive environment with hands-on materials. The various learning styles of each individual child are met by presenting lessons both visually and orally. Lessons are repeated until concepts are fully mastered. We want every child to achieve success. For students needing extra challenge, acceleration will be provided. For students who require extra assistance, individualized instruction is provided.
When one enters the classroom, children can be observed working on many different lessons and activities. Some children may choose to work alone, while others will work in pairs or in small groups. At this level, children have weekly work plans. Throughout the course of the morning, students are encouraged and guided to work to their potential and be self-motivated.
The lower classrooms provide a safe domain for emotional development. The most prominent aspect of a Montessori classroom is that the students are with the same teachers for a three-year cycle. This enables the child to be comfortable and confident with their teacher. An aesthetically pleasing environment is carefully arranged with special consideration given to the child’s needs. The Montessori materials are color coded to ease the memorization of concepts. Moral development is reinforced in a Montessori setting by consciously striving to promote kind and peaceful behavior.
Meet Our Lower Elementary Teachers!
Catherine McElroy grew up in Jackson, Alabama. She has a Bachelor in Science from the University of Alabama in Childhood Development and Family Studies. In 2006, she received a Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and holds a teaching certificate from the State of Alabama. She has been teaching various grades from toddlers to 5th grade since 2002. She joined the faculty at JBMA in the fall of 2011. She received her Elementary I certification through the American Montessori Society in 2013. She is an avid runner and loves to be outdoors with her husband, Rob, and their dog, Carl. She has two twin girls named Cameron Ann and Sidney Bounds.
Genie began her journey into “Montessori” here at JBMA as an assistant with the Toddler class in 1997. Through the years, she has worked in the Preschool, Upper, and Lower classrooms where she had wonderful experiences with Montessori mentors such as Ms. Margaret and Ms. Sue. She has a BS degree from the University of Montevallo in special education of the hearing impaired, plus Montessori certifications in Elementary I and II. She fully believes in the philosophy and methods used in a Montessori environment that encourage children to become independent learners. That is why she loves working with the students here at JBMA. She is married and has two sons. An interesting fact about her is that she was born on Leap Year, February 29th.
Shweta Singh has lived in Birmingham for 15 years. She earned her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and her Class B, P-6 undergraduate certification from The University of Alabama. She graduated with Presidential Honors. Shweta is also certified as a Montessori Early Childhood educator. Her motto is “teaching is learning”.
Tejal Mehta is the Lower Elementary Lead Teacher for Classroom #2. Tejal holds a Lower Elementary Montessori Credential from Age of Montessori Training Institute, Bozeman Montana. She is currently planning towards her Reading Specialist Certification. She has a Bachelor’s in Commerce, a year of Masters of Commerce in Management from University of Mumbai, India, a Degree in Apparel Design and Garment Manufacturing, Sophia College, Mumbai, and Computer Science Prerequisites from UAB. She has three wonderful children and the first time she took a tour of Bruno Montessori Academy in 2005, the Montessori method of education became a way of life for her.
Tejal enjoys volunteering in community events that promote culture and diversity. She and her husband loves exploring new places, playing chess, and being with friends and family.
Her Favorite Quote: “Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and it is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.” – Maria Montessori, Education For A New World
Sandy has a long history of working with students in multiple academic areas. She has experience in Drama, Language Arts, Montessori Secondary Education, and Special Education. After such a fulfilling career, she is happy to find a home at JBMA.