A Forward from Daniella: This week, I’ve asked our Program Administrator, Roxy Krawczyk, to write a guest post on the custom curriculum that we created for Le Village.
When I was noodling on the idea of Le Village, one of the things I kept getting stuck on was how to create a stable learning environment for the little ones when the classrooms are likely to change day-to-day. It’s the nature of our space—with flexibility for parents comes change for children—and I believe that kids need consistency on some level. So how does one balance the two? And how the heck was I supposed to figure that out?! I’m a mother, a marketer, a businesswoman, but I’m not a teacher. I needed help. But who?
For eight years, Roxy and I have been friends and confidants. She has the kind of direct, open, honest personality that I not only respect in a person, but which makes them a lifelong friend.
When we got together for dinner one night and she told me she was pregnant with a little girl, I was giddy for her. When she told me she had decided to leave her current job to find something more flexible for her new family, I was like, “Hold up. Wha?! Stop. I need you. Work for me. No, work with me. I can’t do this without you. I won’t.” And she was like, “Wait, D—what are you talking about?”
I can only say that the stars aligned for us to get to collaborate on this together. Sometimes life sends you little gifts. I would not have been able to create this amazing environment for your kids on my own, but she most certainly has.
However, I’ll let her tell you about that...
I’ve been an educator for most of my adult life. I fell in love with Montessori education when I was making a career change out of publishing in my early twenties, and I never looked back. I felt such a deep resonance with the child-centered philosophy, the beautifully individualized learning environments, the enduring respect for the child, and the close partnership between the child, teacher, and parent. It felt fitting to begin my own Montessori journey where Maria Montessori began hers—with the little ones—so I did my early childhood training and happily entered the world of teaching in a 2.5-6 year-old classroom.
I fell in love with those kids. They were the ones who solidified for me that the move to teaching had been the right choice. Their little hearts were so loving and their minds so open, their hugs so all-encompassing and their smiles so genuine. I loved being able to introduce them to new ideas, help them develop new skills, and encourage their curiosity and creativity. They taught me the true meaning of patience and inspired within me an awe for the human potential that continued to grow on a daily basis. They created the core of a teacher within me.
After a few years of teaching at the early childhood level, I was offered an intriguing opportunity to make the leap into a much older age group. Though the transition was a big one, I decided to accept the challenge to expand my own range and skill set as an educator. I went for my adolescent training and began teaching reading, writing, and social studies in a 12-14 year-old Montessori classroom. Sure, these older kids were different, with more complex emotions and attitudes, but they were also strikingly similar to my little ones in that they were becoming so aware of the world around them. They were taking in everything with these almost-adult eyes, thinking critically and asking tough questions. They taught me a whole new level of patience and inspired a new kind of awe within me.
Over the course of my middle school teaching, I also slowly moved into administrative work. Though I never gave up my place in the classroom (where my heart has always been), I grew into the position of Middle School Director. In addition to my teaching, I designed curriculum, ran parent education events, mentored teachers, and spearheaded school-wide projects. I had my hands full! I was really satisfied with my work life, but my husband and I were also feeling ready to expand our personal lives. In the spring of 2019 we were overjoyed to learn we were pregnant with our first child, and I realized that it was time for me to reconsider my work-life balance.
When Daniella approached me with the opportunity to join Le Village, I had just made the incredibly difficult decision to leave my position at the middle school. I was looking at spending my first year out of the classroom in a decade, and though I was grateful to have been able to make that choice for myself and our growing family, I really didn’t know what it would mean for me. Children had been a daily part of my life for so long, and “educator” was such an integral part of who I had become; it was feeling like a true leap of faith to move forward into this new unknown.
After Daniella explained the concept of her groundbreaking new enterprise and I had congratulated her on (once again!) tackling such an enormous and exciting project, she told me that she was in need of someone to spearhead the childcare side of things. She wanted to set up classrooms for the little ones whose parents who would be using Le Village, and she needed someone to design the curriculum and guide the teachers. Would I be interested? she asked.
It felt like a small symphony of bells went off in my head. Design a brand new environment? Create curriculum and lessons? Mentor enthusiastic educators? Return to my early childhood roots? Join a community of like-minded parents where my own little one could play and learn while I worked? It was like the universe had reached down and offered me the perfect next step on a silver platter.
And so here I am, the Program Administrator for Le Village—a position that could not be more ideal for me within a collaboration I could not be more excited about. My days have been spent conceptualizing classrooms, defining our philosophy, detailing the curriculum framework, writing lesson and activity plans, and hiring our amazing teachers. It’s been a truly inspiring process, and I can’t wait to share more about our program and curriculum with you.
– Roxy Krawczyk
Catch back up with us next week as we detail our curriculum design and approach!