Meet Leah Mandic, a kindergarten teacher at Grace Montessori School. For the last 14 years, Leah has lived the Montessori principles in her classroom, helping every child build their independence and love of learning. She strives to empower her students and encourages individual pride when they achieve goals themselves rather than relying on adults. Yet despite the individuality Leah fosters in her classroom, no student ever feels left behind.
Leah always envisioned herself being a teacher. She earned her associate’s degrees in Early Childhood Education, Montessori Early Childhood Education, and Special Education from Lehigh Carbon Community College. She continued to Cedar Crest College to earn her bachelor’s in Elementary Education.
As soon as she stepped foot in Grace Montessori School, she knew it would become her home. The diversity among teachers and students creates a welcoming environment that encourages cultural learning – exactly what she had sought.
“Montessori is a highly respected and valuable philosophy that encourages self-reliance, a safe environment, and friendships.” reflected Leah. “I adore seeing my students develop into well-rounded individuals that think for themselves. It’s incredible to witness their ‘light bulb moments’ when lessons click in their minds.”
Leah organizes her classroom in an aesthetically pleasing manner allowing students to give their full attention to tasks. She seamlessly integrates themes into her lessons to make real-world connections. For example, when teaching about the ocean, her math lessons include counting fish.
“I always focus on meeting students where they are so they feel challenged yet capable,” said Leah. “At the end of the day, I teach them to realize that they are in control of their behaviors. The choices they make can help or hurt others, and they must understand that responsibility.”
Leah spends time with her family at amusement parks, museums, and zoos in her free time. You can find her traveling by car, plane, or boat, as she is always on an adventure.
Interested in learning about Grace Montessori School’s elementary program? Click here for more information.