Meet Kelly Digiacinto, a primary level teacher at Grace Montessori School. Kelly graduated from Moravian College with an English degree, but she never planned to teach. When her son struggled in a public preschool, she started to explore other options that would meet his needs. A good friend mentioned that her children were enrolled at Grace Montessori and loved it, so she decided to check it out.
From the moment her son started at Grace Montessori, he blossomed. Kelly instantly immersed herself in learning the Montessori principles so she could facilitate more learning outside of the classroom. In 1997, she began her Montessori training at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and completed her certification at Lehigh Carbon Community College.
“I did a lot of observing at Grace Montessori School, never thinking I was going to teach. I took the Practical Life courses out of a desire to learn more, and I ended up taking them all!” reflected Kelly. “It turned out to be a perfect fit. I’ve been at Grace Montessori for 20 years, and it was one of the best decisions I could have made.”
Her proudest moments are when she witnesses spontaneous kindness in her classroom. All children have varying levels of success and frustration with different skills or materials, but she loves watching a child encourage another student to succeed in an exercise.
“I enjoy watching children in the Sensorial area of the classroom. These materials are beautiful and encourage the child to match, sort, and grade objects,” said Kelly. “For a three-year-old or even a six-year-old, making these connections can be a great tool that helps lay the foundation for organization skills.”
Kelly also sees the magic behind children blending sounds and reading for the first time. She reports that it’s gratifying to hear them say, “I’m reading!” or “I did it!” after they struggled to master letter sounds. When children leave her class, she sends them off with the confidence that they can do anything. She encourages them to continue to be themselves.
In her free time, Kelly hosts weekly family dinners for her entire family, reads books with her mom and sisters, and is active in her church. She plays the trumpet and sings in the choir.
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