Celebrating the Commitment of our Lawrenceville Guides
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are celebrating all of the incredible guides across the Guidepost network. Here, we spotlight four exceptional guides at Guidepost at Lawrenceville, recognizing them for their outstanding contributions to the school community.
Join us in commemorating Teacher Appreciation Week—this time, by hearing the stories and recognizing the accomplishments of exceptional guides at Guidepost at Lawrenceville. Our Lawrenceville campus in New Jersey serves children from 6 weeks to 6 years old in their Nido (nursery), Toddler, and Children’s House (preschool / kindergarten) programs.
We wish we could share the stories of every Lawrenceville guide, but here we celebrate Ms. Helen, Ms. Barb, Ms. Lex, and Ms. Lavanya, guides who have taken vastly different paths to Guidepost, but who are all animated by one thing: their love for the children in their care. Shining out from each of their stories, the praise they’ve received from parents, and the recognition from their Head of School is their dedication, passion, and thoughtful support of each and every child in their class.
Ms. Helen, Lead Guide, Nido
No stranger to childcare, Ms. Helen has been supporting children of all ages since she was a teenager when she spent her summers off helping her grandmother run a small, in-home daycare.
“Ms. Helen has been working in this building since long before we became Guidepost Montessori, and she is the epitome of adaptability. She is always ready to dive in with both feet for a new challenge and brings her expertise and excellent parent communication skills with her wherever she goes!”
After more than two decades, Ms. Helen’s passion for childcare is far from abating. She feels honored that parents put their trust in her to help their children grow, learn, and achieve great things. More than that, she takes seriously this profound level of trust and strives to create a comforting environment for each and every child. When a child eagerly waves goodbye to their parents, filled with anticipation to start the day with her, Ms. Helen knows there is no better testament to the fact that she is helping them grow and thrive!
Explaining her commitment to the parents who entrust her with their children, Ms. Helen said, “A goal that I am constantly working toward is simply knowing that the parents I am working with, and the children I am caring for, are happy and comfortable. I believe having great communication with the families is one of the most important aspects of what we are doing here at Guidepost.”
“Ms. Helen has such a way with babies. From our daughter’s very first day in day care, we knew we’d found someone special. Our kid seemed to trust her instantly; in her very first school snapshot, she’s giving Miss Helen a giant smile! Miss Helen was also instrumental in teaching us how to support our daughter’s growth and development, with tips for transitioning to formula, introducing solids, and treating diaper rash. We feel so lucky that our child’s first day care experience was with Miss Helen. She’s set a high bar!”
“We love Ms. Helen and the team (Ms. Barb and Ms. Emily) because: they care for Olivia like a real family member. They are interested and dedicated to care for Olivia like a family member would do. I know Olivia is being well taken care of because she is excited to see Helen and Emily when I drop her off—she gives them a hug and sometimes rests her head on their shoulder. That shows me that Olivia sees them as someone she trusts. That’s something you build over time and you can’t ask them to fake it. That’s a true reflection of the bond they’ve created. Also, Helen so fast to communicate!”
“Ms. Helen is always on top of the most detailed things for my baby especially with his diet and food restrictions as well as providing her own helpful recommendations all the time. She is great at what she does and you can tell she's not new to this, she's true to this!”
“I love seeing my daughter run to Ms. Helen with a big smile on her face in the morning. I so appreciate her warmth towards her and all the children in her class.”
“Ms. Helen is such a positive, nurturing presence. I am very grateful that she has stepped in for our regular teacher during her maternity leave with such grace and patience! Thank you, Ms. Helen and Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! ”
Ms. Barb, Assistant Guide, Nido
Working with children has always been Ms. Barb’s passion, and as she’s shifted from Toddler to Nido environments at Guidepost, she’s always brightly shown that passion.
“Ms. Barb moved into a Nido classroom to help backfill a role, and quickly became a truly integral part of the classroom! The bonds she creates with families by having genuine conversations, and the warmth and love she shows to her students are above and beyond.”
With over a decade of experience working in childcare, Ms. Barb proudly says she loves teaching and watching the children she cares for grow. In true Guidepost fashion, her goal is always to help each child achieve their own independence—to help them develop the language, motor control, and confidence they need to transition to a toddler classroom at 18 months-old and to succeed in life as a whole.
Explaining some of her favorite aspects of working with children, Ms. Barb said, “I love being able to help each infant to learn to do things for themselves while making sure they are feeling safe and loved. I also love encouraging them to try something new at the right moment while seeing a smile on their faces.”
“Miss Barb’s warm personality, knack for details, and affection for the babies she cares for all make her a delight to work with. She is so committed to providing great care, often offering to go above and beyond to make sure our daughter is supported. Miss Barb also likes to share highlights from the day, such as new words our daughter has been repeating, which makes us feel more connected to our kid’s life at day care. Miss Barb is truly an ace.”
“We are so lucky that our son is in Ms. Helen & Ms. Barb's classroom. We drop him off every day knowing that he's safe, loved, and cared for. Ms. Helen and Ms. Barb are so kind, caring, and compassionate, and it's really evident that they love what they do. As hard as it is to be away from him each day, Ms. Helen and Ms. Barb always maintain excellent communication and post lots of pictures to make it a little easier on us parents. We especially love coming home and seeing him apply new skills or say new words that they taught him during school. We are so thankful to have our son in Ms. Helen & Ms. Barb's care! ”
“Ms. Barb is incredibly sweet and compassionate with my baby! I feel like she really treats him as her own. She is always bubbly and kind and seems to give my baby that motherly and nurturing support and feeling when I'm not around which truly makes me happy as a mom. ”
“Ms. Barb and Ms. Helen are both very attentive to [our son's] needs and understand his cues. Rishi walks in with a smile every morning and is eager to start his day. I appreciate the many pictures they send me during the day to keep me involved. ”
Ms. Lex, Lead Guide, Toddler
Starting at Guidepost two years ago, Ms. Lex discovered the beauty of Montessori and quickly moved from an assistant to a lead role in the classroom.
“Ms. Lex began her PMI training in the past year and soon after stepped into a Lead Toddler Guide role. She is fiercely dedicated to her students and works hard every day to give them the consistency, structure, and excellent education they deserve. ”
Ms. Lex came to Guidepost not knowing anything about Montessori, but she fell in love with the ideas and the approach. She especially appreciates her amazing co-teacher who guided her in learning about Montessori in her first year at Guidepost. In April of last year, she began her Montessori training with the Prepared Montessorian Institute, a self-paced, accredited program available to all Guidepost staff, and soon after stepped into her own classroom as a Lead Guide.
Describing her passion for working with this age group, Ms. Lex explained, “I love working with toddlers. Seeing such little humans understand and do so many things is such a rewarding feeling. Especially knowing that they're learning from you. As we get younger kids, having the older ones take on the responsibility of being a role model from the things they've been shown is one of my biggest goals.”
“Ms. Lex has been an absolute gem from the moment we first met with her and enrolled our daughter, Elle, in her class. She is always very enthusiastic, even early in the morning, and has all the patience in the world with toddlers, which we know can be tricky. :) Our daughter loves going to school every day and gets so excited to spend the day learning and playing with Ms. Lex. Ms. Lex is very approachable, and we have also enjoyed getting to know her. We appreciate that we can reach out throughout the day if necessary. We trust that our daughter is in the best hands. Thank you for all that you do, Ms. Lex!!”
“Our son is lucky to have Ms. Lex as his toddler guide. She’s such a warm and caring person; it’s clear that the children adore her. He’s learned so much in the few months he’s been in her class and has formed a strong bond with her. We know that our son is in great hands, and we appreciate Ms. Lex for all that she does.”
“Ms. Lex is an amazing teacher. She is incredibly calm, kind and patient with the children in her classroom. Her dedication to their learning is truly admirable and I am constantly amazed by the progress our son has made under her care. Thanks to her, our son loves going to daycare and is very happy at drop off and pick up. Thank you for everything you do, Ms. Lex! We could not ask for a better teacher for our son. ”
“It's clear the kids love Ms. Lex! Also, from small things like warm greetings each morning to sharing funny things our kids did during the day, Ms. Lex always makes us feel like she genuinely enjoys and cares about our kids. ”
“Ms. Lex is a fabulous teacher. She always plans great activities for the kids and makes every event special! Our kids both love her. We love Ms. Lex for many reasons, listing the top ones here: Anytime we are having a hard time getting Stella ready to go to school we ask her if she wants to see Ms. Lex. Always, an emphatic 'yes!' follows and she behaves to get ready. Any time we ask her who her friends are at school it always starts with Ms. Lex. Whenever we pop in to pick up Stella or for a Guidepost event, she's always so engaging, and you can tell how much she loves being with all her Toddler class. She always provides us so many details on Stella's days and what's going on, over and above what we would expect from anyone caring for our Stella. ”
Ms. Lavanya, Lead Guide, Children’s House
With a background in chemistry and human resources, Ms. Lavanya shifted directions to becoming a Montessori educator over 5 years ago.
“Ms. Lavanya just celebrated her first Guidepost anniversary! She has overcome many adversities in her first year, but her expertise and passion for what she does shines through in the way her classroom runs and flows so beautifully. ”
Ms. Lavanya has been a Lead Guide in Montessori classrooms for the past 5 years. She embodies the Montessori spirit of being a scientific observer and guide of children—of discovering where they are in their development, of understanding their sensitive periods, and preparing the way for the great work of achieving their own development.
Describing her commitment, Ms. Lavanya explained, “Every day I enter the class with no preconceptions. Considering each child has different needs, I try to observe and assist their individual needs. Every morning as children enter the classroom, they humble me with their unconditional love and affection.”
“Ms. Lavanya has made such a positive impact on Graham. She is loving and patient and handles his strong feelings incredibly well, I don't even know how! He truly respects her and speaks so highly of her. Before joining her class (and Guidepost), childcare drop offs were often tough—that hasn't been the case since day 1 in Lavanya's class. I attribute that to the great teacher/student relationship they have established! ”
“My child is growing up scaffolded—more and more feeling what love and safety and security and healthy boundary-making feels like, developing and challenging his brain in his writing, reading, math, and other activities—because of Miss Lavanya's heart, devotion, and expertise as an educator. ”
“Ms. Lavanya is a treasure. She never phones it in. She keeps in her mind where each child is at and keeps working with them. No matter how exhausting they are, I always see her giving her best and maximizing each learning opportunity. It’s been a real blessing to have her work with my son this past year. ”
Guides like Ms. Helen, Ms. Barb, Ms. Lex, and Ms. Lavanya embody the Montessori ideal in a teacher -- someone who, “feels herself, aflame with interest, "seeing" the spiritual phenomena of the child, and [who] experiences a serene joy and an insatiable eagerness in observing them.” It’s no wonder they have all found their way to Guidepost and to helping countless children achieve their independence and flourish!