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about the teachers
 

We Are Looking For A Dedicated Full-time English Speaking Montessori Guide.

One of the many beauties of Montessori education is that it provides the child a foundation that evolves into a life-long love of learning. What many parents do not know is that for a teacher, Montessori is a life-long learning experience. Through professional development programmes, seminars and conferences, Montessori teachers are continuously expanding their knowledge and learning new ways of guiding the children in their classroom.
It is this openness to new information that creates the wonderfully supportive atmosphere in a Montessori classroom, where teachers are guides and observers who recognise that the classroom is a scientific laboratory filled with love for the child and for learning coupled with respect for new information as well as old, proven facts. In the spirit of science, the teachers are constantly blending their new knowledge and skills with the life-time of learning they have acquired as Montessorians. Each day in the classroom the beneficiaries of this knowledge are the children. As they mature, and because of their Montessori experience, they too will be open to learning new information. Equally important, they will be able, like a Montessori guide, to weigh that information with an open mind and to determine wether it is fact or fantasy.

The goal to better the world by educating the child is an underlying foundation of Dr. Maria Montessori. It was a good goal a century ago when she first stated it, and it continues to be valid today. Every Montessori teacher (guide) and every Montessori student (child) is playing their part in helping to achieve that goal.

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Marcel Van Ratingen

Marcel van Ratingen is the director of Montessori House Brussels.

While combining management with teaching he is able to create learning experiences for the children, for the staff and for himself.

"I could not be without the pleasure of having children around me to observe, to guide and to help becoming great independent learners," he says.

Marcel graduated from the Pedagogical Academy of Maastricht (The Netherlands) in 1976 as an elementary teacher. The same year he started his teaching career in a small Dutch town called Ede. He became head of a state-owned primary school in 1988, which he transformed into a Montesssori school. He graduated as a Montessori teacher (Casa dei Bambini and Elementary) in 1996 from the ‘Nederlandse Montessori Vereniging’.


Looking for new horizons he moved to London to gain experiences in the English educational system. In 2001 he moved to Brussels.

With his partner he enjoyed working in their English styled tea shop in the centre of Brussels, as well as working on and off at Montessori schools. In 2006 he co-founded Montessori House Brussels and It is with great pleasure that Marcel guides children and teachers in order to create a wonderful environment for your child(ren).

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Marie-Mai El Hadj-Rondreux is of French origin and moved to Brussels 5 years ago. She is married and a mom of a little girl born in 2016. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and a diploma in foreign languages (English and Spanish). She worked as a nanny in the USA for 1 year; back in Europe she worked in the tourism field. A few years later she went back to the States to volunteer for an NGO based in the Bronx and Brooklyn, New York. After that wonderful human experience she realised she wanted to dedicate her life to children.

She discovered the Montessori pedagogy in the USA. Its respectful approach of children, the way it allows them to work freely and develop their skills and curiosity for the world in autonomy immediately seduced her; “through this pedagogy we really learn to respect the pace and personality of each child and help them to gain self-esteem and confidence,” she says.

Marie-Mai


She decided to follow the 3-6 Montessori training course at AMI center in Paris in
2011. She then lived her first experience as a Montessori teacher in a school near Paris and finally joined Montessori House Brussels in September 2012. She has been working with great pleasure as a Montessori teacher ever since.

Marie-Mai loves arts, especially drawing and painting. She enjoys travelling and is
involved in a volunteering project in Africa that promotes education through arts,
reading and playful activities.

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Olivia

Born in Belgium, Olivia Lemercier attended a Montessori pre-school in Namibia and later finished her schooling in South Africa. She graduated from Rhodes University with an honours degree in Journalism and Media Studies before moving to Warsaw, Poland and working for an International pre-school. This re-ignited her passion for children and their education, moving her back to South Africa to work as the Public Relations Officer for an NGO to enable and empower children with physical and mental disabilities. During the same period, she also set up various initiatives with overseas volunteers to help in the education sector in South African township schools.

Olivia moved to Belgium at the end of 2016, focussing on finishing off her Montessori Diploma for children between the ages of 3-6 through the online Montessori Institute (Montitute). In conjunction with this, she observed and worked at a Montessori school in Tilff, Liege, and spent a week observing the Montessori method at Montessori House Brussels.


Both of these experiences confirmed to her that the Montessori philosophy was a beautiful, effective way to nurture the natural development of children and to create the active, responsible, and caring individuals that this world needs.
A lover of languages, Olivia teaches English through CLL Language Centre to children, adolescents and adults part-time, joining our school in September 2017 for 2 days as a classroom teacher.
In her free time, you will find her cycling to further discover her native country and spending as much time as possible basking in the sun and revelling in God’s wondrous creations.

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Brussels born Françoise Ral-Kesler finished her study in psycho-pedagogy in the early eighties, after which she has worked several years in Belgian state schools. She raised three children, combining this with her later work in the police force.
Because of her kind, gentle and caring character she was asked to look after people who were in need of care, which she did with great compassion. After having spent a few years in retails she accepted her current job in Montessori House Brussels, helping the children with their lunch.
Throughout the years Françoise enjoyed very much tutoring children after their school hours, and when she became part of our school she found back her desire to be with children and to guide them.

Francoise


It took her little time to decide to follow the Montessori course 3 to 6 years and she now enjoys every minute being a Montessori guide in our school.  Working in an environment totally dedicated to the needs of the child, helping him/her to become an independent human being, is Françoise’s ultimate wish.

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Margarita

Margarita Malkina was first introduced to the Montessori approach through her children who attended Montessori House Brussels. Immediately impressed by the philosophy that encourages children to be independent and creative, Margarita began volunteering at the school. In 2013, she joined the school as a music teacher, helping her students to explore various musical styles and genres, to experiment with sounds and vocal ranges, as well as to become confident singers and dancers.

In 2015, Margarita successfully completed her studies at the Montessori Centre International in London, receiving the ‘International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy.’


In addition to her work at Montessori House Brussels, Margarita teaches at a music school, raises three children, and keeps herself busy with reading, traveling, and learning to bike.

Margarita holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music as well as Masters in International Development. She has an international background having lived in Russia, United States, Lithuania, and Belgium.

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Cherine Burgess is South African born, married and a mom to three children, she holds a Bachelor in Preschool Education and an International Marketing Degree.

After moving to Belgium in 2008 Cherine took the opportunity to follow her love for children and education and enrolled with the ‘International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy’.

Cherine joined our school in January 2012 as a Montessori student teacher, and after completing her exams in 2013 she joined our school again in 2014 as a classroom teacher.

Cherine


She says “The Montessori method encourages each child’s individual growth and development as a leaner and person. I love how the children are free to develop at their own pace while the method inspires creativity and a true sense of independence in each child’s own unique way”.

Her free time is spent with her family, but she also enjoys reading, cooking, painting, studying Flemish and cycling in the lovely Belgium countryside.

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Amra

Roxana Trasca (Roxi) is from Constanta, a beautiful town near Romania’s seaside. One year ago she decided to move to Brussels together with her family.
She has an economical background with experience in accountancy and financial management, although she was always attracted by human sciences.

After her daughter was born, she discovered Montessori pedagogy; she was so surprised to see that all we become, is founded during the very first years of our life!
Roxi decided to venture into this direction and to bring Montessori education to her local community. In 2015 she started administrating a Montessori school while following the ‘Casa dei Bambini’ Montessori teacher training at the AMI Montessori Institute of Bucharest, which she successfully completed in 2018.

She strongly believes that providing Montessori education is of great importance and to have this available for every child should be our biggest aim.


She is very happy to work at Montessori House Brussels, for being a guide for the children and to support parents while discovering their children’s qualities and abilities.

“We must help the child to act, will and think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.” - Education for a New World, Dr. Maria Montessori.

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Sébastien Doligé, of French nationality, has been living in Brussels since 2008. Together with his wife they are raising their boy, who was born in 2016.

After studying History and Political Science at the College of Europe, he worked for more than 10 years in the field of energy and environment within European institutions and for an international trade association. However, he gradually realised that his real interest was elsewhere: in the humanities and education.

For 3 years, he did several observation courses in nursery and primary schools to clarify his project. He was seduced by active pedagogies and the importance they attach to respecting the child's natural rhythms. He also followed a series of short training courses, notably at Sophie Rabhi’s Children's Farm and at the Maria Montessori Higher Institute, where he obtained the AMI assistant diploma for the Children's House (3-6 years) in 2018.

Amra


In particular Maria Montessori’s pedagogy is of great interest to him, for the importance given to the prepared environment, the observation of children, and the preparation of the educator.

He joins Montessori House Brussels as a guide in September 2020 and at the same time he is following the AMI Teacher training for the Children's House (3-6 years).
Sébastien is passionate about music - he is a drummer and percussionist.

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Amra Haseljic is from Bosnia and Herzegovina but has spent most of her adult life in Italy. She moved to Brussels and joined our team in September 2016.

After a degree in Modern Foreign Languages, she specialised in early childhood education attending a Masters in Education at University of Roma Tre and Center for Montessori Studies.

Amra has over twenty years of experience in early childhood education (often voluntary work). Her roles as a volunteer, tutor and Montessori educator have brought her into contact with a range of childcare situations and their respective demands, from caring and educating young infants in company creches to helping immigrant children suffering from leukemia.


Amra's accomplishments in child education have been recognised by MoMo (the Italian quarterly Montessori magazine), which asked her to write an article about her teaching: introducing cultural differences to children through a variety of Montessori activities.

She is very keen on music, cinema and travelling.

Amra firmly believes that “The hands are the instruments of men’s intelligence" (M. Montessori).

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Sophie Grandin is French and joined the team in March 2021.

She holds an Early Childhood diploma and a Bachelor’s degree in “Cinema and Audiovisual”.

After a long experience in pediatric oncology, children’s home and nurseries as an educator, she followed the 3-6 Montessori training course at the AMI center in Paris in 2015. In 2020, she became a massage instructor in schools programme for children from 2 to 12, (MISA™ France) and she also attended the 6-12 assistant course in the AMI center in Montpellier, France.

During the school year 2016/17, she taught in a Montessori school close to London and once back in France, she taught three years in a Montessori school in Normandy.


What motivates her mostly is to caringly guide children to their full potential, respecting their learning schemes and personal creativity. Talking about creativity, Sophie believes what the author and former Montessori student, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, used to say about the Montessori pedagogy: “ Montessori method is the best way to raise children’s awareness to the beauty of the earth and arouse their curiosity about the secrets of life. ”

On her spare time, Sophie enjoys discovering various cultures, travelling and loves art. Passionate about jazz music, she is also a swing dancer. As a sea-lover, she sails and practices freediving.

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Inma

Inma is from Murcia, a beautiful region of Spain. Her friends describe her as an open minded person with a good sense of humour and a real love for travelling, reading and learning. She loves all kinds of music and cinema as well.

She started working as a secretary, but soon realised that her true passion was all about children, so she decided to study as a Primary Music Teacher at Universitad de Murcia.

Afterwards she spent four years working as a nanny in London, taking care of babies and children aged 3-5; a wonderful experience!


Back in Spain she worked as the director of Escuela de Musica Beethoven  and also taught English in Kingsbury Academy to both children and adults.

Last year while working as a Music Teacher at a bilingual school, she started her Montessori course in Madrid, where she understood that this phylosophy with its unique approach really comprehends and respects children´s autonomy when set in a peaceful and balanced environment. Besides this she agrees that it is our task as guides (in Maria Montessori´s own words) “to shake up life, but to leave it free to develop”.
She is thrilled to be piano teacher as well as class room guide of Montessori House Brussels.

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Bhu_Venkatesan is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, serving the school as a visiting consultant. She has a Masters in Occupational Therapy (with a specialization in Pediatrics) and professional development qualifications as a Remedial Teacher for Dyslexia and a Certified Children’s Yoga Teacher. Apart from her private practice (one of the first Sensory clinics in Brussels), she also liaises with schools on different platforms, to help kids in their school settings. She started with Montessori House Brussels in 2013 and is now offering Occupational Therapy services within the school premises, including school-based assessments and therapy, team discussions and in-house workshops.

“Pediatrics is my Passion and that’s what I invest in my Occupassional Therapy when I work with my kids,” says Bhu.

Bhu


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