Assistant Guides are critical to the function of each Guidepost Montessori classroom and treasured members of the Guidepost community. While Lead Guides are responsible for the overall classroom and curriculum, Assistant Guides offer vital support to the Lead Guide and the children.
Many Guidepost Montessori Assistant Guides ultimately grow to take on Lead Guide roles over time. Guidepost provides training for Assistant Guides who want to pursue that path or have other aspirations. Stephanie Jimenez, Head of School at Guidepost Montessori at Williamsburg, was hired as an Assistant Guide in 2018.
“I started as an Assistant Guide because, despite my years of teaching experience, I wanted to learn more about Montessori before leading my own Montessori classroom,” Stephanie said. “Less than a year later, I am now the head of a school that feels like my home away from home, supporting staff and families who feel like my second family.”
Depending on training and experience, some Assistant Guides have opportunities to give lessons in certain areas, such as handwriting. Salem Islas-Madlo (pictured above), who holds a master’s degree in education, is supporting a bilingual classroom at Guidepost Montessori at Vienna in which the Lead Guide speaks in German. Salem offers lessons in language and practical life to help build conversational, reading and writing skills in English as well as understanding, vocabulary, and grammar.
Salem reflects here on the first two weeks of school in her Guidepost Montessori elementary classroom. She noted a growing sense of connection and community and was impressed with how the children began to express the knowledge they gained through lessons and concentrated work.
“These things have just really been an exciting thing for me to witness and to be a part of,” Salem shared. “Thank you so much for entrusting your children to us. It’s been a real honor for the first two weeks to have this experience!”