Year: 2015 – Province: Manitoba
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
St. James-Assiniboia Montessori Association Inc.
3180 McBey Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3K 0T7
Type of setting: Child care centre for children ages 2.5 to 6 years
As centre director, Laura Burla is the cornerstone of an innovative program that brings together the structured Montessori approach and developmentally appropriate practices in an engaging environment.
Philosophy of care
Differences are a source of celebration in Ms. Burla's class, so she gives the children plenty of time to teach and learn from each other. She also sees children as people, who are the sum of everything that is happening to them in the classroom and elsewhere.
Support of child development
- Tailors child-led activities to both stimulate children looking for a greater challenge and allow those who are not yet developmentally ready to succeed at a simpler, but related task.
- Incorporates issues children may be dealing with (such as anxiety or nightmares) into class discussions, to help them learn that they are not alone in their struggles.
- Restructures her class—both the physical space and the routines—to remove barriers to learning and shares ideas with parents on how they can do similar things at home.
Involvement with parents, families and the community
- Prioritized donations to the centre to set up a resource lending library for parents and expand the children's lending library.
- Set up an Instagram account to post daily photos of children's activities, and sends out weekly emails and a monthly newsletter to highlight for parents children's developing interests.
- Links families with community resources, helping recent immigrants ease their transition to Canada and a family find support after the mother was diagnosed with cancer.
"Laura has been an educational resource, an incredibly strong teacher, and has demonstrated that she not only wants to teach the children in her care, but teach them the tools to learn and grown on their own as well."
"I can only hope that one day I am half the inspiration she is to the field of early childhood education."
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