Meet Breeayn! From Montessori Volunteer to Lead Teacher

Breeayn D., started her Montessori journey as a volunteer at a public Montessori school. Since joining Bezos Academy in 2020 as an assistant teacher, she received her Montessori certification, and now is a lead teacher at our Tacoma – Hilltop preschool. Hear from Breeayn about what sparked her love of the Montessori pedagogy, her favorite part of the school day, and what Child First, Always means to her.

What do you do in a day, and what is your favorite part of the day?
I get to have conversations and work with children all day! Children arrive in the morning, come into the classroom, and immediately choose work on the shelves and ask for lessons. Our work cycle tends to fly by so quickly! Before I know it, it’s time for our community meeting time, where we sing songs and have group lessons or discussions. We then have lunch, outdoor play, and rest time.

My favorite part of the day is the morning work cycle. It’s when I work the most with the children and observe how they’re doing in the classroom environment. This is the time I can look up from a lesson to scan the room and see all the work the children are engaged in. It’s a truly peaceful time of day and one of the things that drew me to Montessori.

Breeayn helps students at Bezos Academy Des Moines, 2021

What inspired you to pursue education?
I never expected to become a teacher. I worked as a secretary before I had children, and then I was a stay-at-home mom for thirteen years. When my children started school, I volunteered at their school full-time. They went to a public Montessori school, which led me to learn about Montessori pedagogy. I embraced the idea that children should be respected, and teachers are guides helping them experience the world. After years volunteering, I realized I loved working with children and in Montessori classrooms. It was a natural move for me to pursue a career in the classroom.

What appealed to you about working at Bezos Academy?
Montessori is a pedagogy that sees and hears children as the growing humans they are. For too long, Montessori was largely available to families who could afford to send their children to private schools. While we do have public and charter school Montessori opportunities in this country, there are often many barriers to attending those schools.

What appealed to me about working at Bezos Academy was the opportunity to work at an organization that saw the value of Montessori. 

What do you love about your job?
Working with children! 

What does Child First, Always mean to you?
Everything that we do is to help guide children through their world. It means allowing them to do things for themselves and not be demanding of them and putting them into little boxes of what someone else thinks they should be. It means giving them space to learn and explore the world and including them in discussions about what they think the community needs to be a thriving environment. We follow the children and help support them. One of my favorite quotes from Maria Montessori is, “Within the child lies the fate of the future.” I hear this quote in my head whenever I hear “child first.” 

What have you learned from your Bezos Academy colleagues?
I have been blessed to work with an amazing Montessori guide, Amy A., for over five years now. Before that, I had the chance to get to know her when advocating for public Montessori schools in Tacoma. I’ve learned most of what I know about Montessori from her. 

I’ve also learned the value of self-reflection and patience. And to follow your instincts. 

Do you feel like you are making an impact in your role?
Every time a child walks in the door with a smile on their face, I know I’m making an impact. Every time I help a child through really big emotions, I know I’m making an impact. When families tell me how happy they are to have our children attend our school, I know we’re all making an impact.

Interested in a role as an educator at one of our tuition-free, Montessori-Inspired preschools? Visit our Open Roles page to apply!