Empowering Toddlers with Guides at Evanston
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are celebrating all of the incredible guides across the Guidepost network. Here, we spotlight two exceptional guides at Guidepost at Evanston, recognizing them for their outstanding contributions to the school community.
In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to spotlight two remarkable guides from Guidepost at Evanston. About 30 minutes north of downtown Chicago, our Evanston campus serves children from 6 weeks to 6 years old in their Nido (nursery), Toddler, and Children’s House (preschool / kindergarten) programs.
There are so many incredible guides to recognize, but we want to take the time here to highlight Ms. Christina and Mr. Kevin, two lead guides in Evanston’s Toddler program. Both Ms. Christina and Mr. Kevin work incredibly hard to give their students everything they need to be their fully capable selves.
Ms. Christina, Lead Guide, Toddler
Ms. Christina is passionate about helping children learn and grow holistically.
“Ms. Christina stepped into the role of Toddler Lead Guide and has since been a driving force in building excellence within our Toddler program and throughout our entire campus. Christina brings quality to her classroom in every way – in the lessons she delivers, in the way she structures her classroom, and in the interactions she has with the children. She has a deep understanding of the Montessori method, and this shines through in the extraordinary development—academically, socially, and emotionally—in all of her students. Christina also has an extraordinary ability to create meaningful connections with her children and families, and this is reflected in the relationships she has built within our community over the last 2 years. She is a true team player and a leader on our campus and we are so grateful for her contributions over the last 2 years! ”
After working in childcare for over ten years, Ms. Christina came to Guidepost at Evanston when it first opened its doors two years ago. Since then, she has started to complete her Montessori certification through the Prepared Montessorian Institute, a self-paced and accredited program offered through scholarship to all Guidepost guides. Ms. Christina enjoys working with toddlers and her class is filled with energetic, curious, and independent children who love to learn. Fostering that love of learning day in and day out is exactly what inspires her to bring her best to support her students.
Explaining her vision for her class, Ms. Christina said, “My goal for my classroom is to create a space where the children are free to express their emotions. Making sure they know in this room their feelings are acknowledged, and they have a space they can go to where they are given the tools to work through them.”
“Ms. Christina is a true gem. She has instilled confidence in us from day one of our child’s journey with Guidepost. She is so warm and compassionate with the children, and we couldn’t feel better about leaving our daughter with her every day. ”
“We love Ms. Christina! She is so calm with the children, and nothing rattles her. We love the pictures and updates we get of our child every day from her. It really gives us a sense of what his day has been like. And it’s so cool to see all of the amazing lessons he is given every day and the way Christina is guiding him through the curriculum. We feel so lucky that she is part of our family’s life.”
Mr. Kevin, Lead Guide, Young Toddler
Mr. Kevin has been in childcare for over a decade working with children of various ages.
“Mr. Kevin joined the Guidepost Evanston team when we launched in 2021 as one of our first Lead Guides. His tremendous experience as an early childhood educator and dedication to the success of his classroom immediately created a foundation of quality and excellence at our campus that was transparent to the entire community. His love and care for his children and the work that he does is apparent to everyone from the moment they meet him. Mr. Kevin provides calm, upbeat, and steady leadership to the rest of the team that is invaluable to our school and his bright, bottomless energy is contagious. He is beloved by his students and families and we are grateful each day that he is part of our team.”
He is currently the lead guide in Evanston’s Young Toddler classroom, helping children from 15 months to 2 years-old take some of their first big steps toward independence and understanding the world they live in. Coming to Guidepost, Mr. Kevin was excited to learn about the Montessori approach and is now working to attain his Montessori certification, like Ms. Christina, through the Prepared Montessorian Institute.
“Mr. Kevin is one of the best early childhood educators I have ever seen. He should be nominated for a national teacher award. I just feel so lucky that my son has been given the opportunity to be part of his classroom.”
“Mr. Kevin made me feel calm and confident about my child being in his care from the moment I met him. It is so clear that he loves his students and sees them as individuals and fellow human beings that are to be respected. He shares so much about my child with me each day at pick-up and it makes me feel like he is really seeing my kid for what makes him unique and special. He is just a bright light on this earth.”
There’s often no better way to see the power of the Montessori approach than to observe a toddler classroom. To watch a 20 month-old sit at a toddler-sized table, independently serve herself a snack with real dinnerware, and carefully clean up her space and wash her hands after the meal—all so she can contentedly go grab an interesting book or material from a shelf to work on contentedly—seems nothing short of miraculous.
But we at Guidepost, and all in the Montessori world, know that this isn’t a miracle. Through the hard work, dedication, and inspiration of guides like Ms. Christina and Mr. Kevin, it’s not only possible, it’s practically run of the mill!
* Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity