Here are a few parent testimonials and references written by my former Montessori teacher Education program and/or colleague:

Former Parent Testimonials:

“Carmen taught my daughter from 3 to 6 and in that time I have become a huge believer in the Montessori method. The behavior of the kids in her class was amazing, the amount they learned was incredible, and most important my daughter enjoyed learning. The biggest problem you will have is your kid will be too advanced when they go to another school.

-Jason Gross”

“My daughter, Zahra, was a student of Ms Carmen’s from the ages of 3 to 6. From the moment she started under her instruction to the day she left, she absolutely loved her teachers! Ms Carmen was not only an exceptional teacher who followed the Montessori principles to the tee but also a loving, caring person who addressed my concerns as well as my daughters’ needs. I attribute Zahra’s success in school so far solely to the great beginning she had with Ms Carmen!

-Reshma Merchant”

“Carmen was a wonderful teacher and mentor to my son Lucas. Lucas joined Carmen’s class when he was 4 years old. Carmen provided a comforting yet disciplined learning environment for him. Lucas was curious about different places in the world, so Carmen ensured that most lessons would include some facts about other countries, culture or climates. By the time my son was ready for first grade, he was not only excelling in math and reading, but was also aware of multiple cultures, recent news events and even history. Carmen helped Lucas develop a love for learning, something that will last a lifetime.

Avani Patel
Former Montessori Parent”

“Dear Ms. Carmen,

We just wanted to take some time to express how much we enjoyed being in your class. We can’t think of a teacher who could have made these past years any more special than you did. The assistance you gave us was tremendously remarkable, you are truly a standout teacher because of your sheer dedication to your students. Being able to count on your extra help and clarification was really special to us and shows us how much you care about your students. We will never forget all the fun activities “chicken dance” you included in your class to enhance learning. We hope that you continue your great work in teaching students like us. We appreciate everything you have done and the time you have taken to invest in our future!

We are both doing extremely well in Oak Hill Academy in Lincroft, NJ and you will be proud to know we are math and reading champions in our class.

God bless you for your good work! We both love you!

Hugs and kisses from both of us!

Joshua and Nathan Acheampong”
(written by their mother, Abena Acheampong)

Letters of Reference for Carmen Melendez:

August 29, 2009

To Whom It May Concern,

Greetings! My name is Ruth Dyke and I am pleased and proud to write this letter of recommendation for Sylvia Carmen Melendez. I am currently a Lead Teacher in a Montessori Early Child Classroom, a position I have been at for over 12 years. I also serve as a Lecturer for our school’s Teacher Education Program. It has been my great pleasure to work with Carmen, both professionally and personally, during this time.

Carmen is an outstanding individual, with a wonderful work ethic. In her capacity as an assistant teacher in my classroom, Carmen demonstrated exceptional abilities at problem solving and organizational skills, helping to keep our busy classroom productive and on track. She has a natural gift when working with children, easily being able to comfort them and put them at ease. Carmen is an exceptional caring teacher, always prepared for the day’s lessons and able to adapt to the ever-changing preschool environment.

Carmen was also an exceptional student in our Teacher Education program. She demonstrated outstanding leadership and teamwork skills when working with her classmates. Academically, she met every challenge and exceeded my high expectations. It was with great pleasure that I served as her internship supervisor, watching her further her career goal of becoming an exceptional Montessori teacher.

Through the years we have developed a great kinship for one another. I am pleased and proud to consider myself her colleague, mentor and friend. I treasure her wonderful gifts she has shared with me through the years. I know she will be a wonderful asset to any program.
If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact me at my home address.

Ruth Dyke

May 20, 2008
To Whom It May Concern,

I am Gretchen Simanski, Head Lecturer/Intern Supervisor/Curriculum Director for the Christopher Academy Teacher Education Program (CATEP) for Montessori Training and am writing this letter of recommendation for Carmen Melendez.

I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Carmen for four years. Carmen is a self confident, mature, young woman who is highly motivated, extremely focused, and willing to accept challenges. She approaches each endeavor with care, concern, and integrity of thought. She is open, friendly, and authentic.

Carmen is a pleasant person and working with her has been delightful. I have had the pleasurable opportunity of having Carmen as a student in the CATEP Montessori Training Program. I was able to see Carmen’s abilities as a student as well as her talents as a teacher.

Our program requires the first year to include 470 hours of an academic workshop and independent study which consists of Montessori Principles and Philosophy, Child Development, Classroom Management and Observation, and presentations on Montessori materials. Carmen Melendez was an active and conscientious member of the class. All assignments were well written, well supported, organized, neat, and timely. It was evident that Carmen wanted to learn more and challenge herself.

The second year of the CATEP was an independent study, internship, program which required the student to work within a Montessori classroom environment of 3-6 year-old children accepting all responsibilities and duties of a full-time teacher. Carmen gained the respect of her colleagues, the parents, and the children that she worked with during this internship year. She was dependable, flexible, and self confident with each task that was presented to her. She exhibited excellent communication skills with her colleagues and took initiative when necessary.

In addition to interning in a Montessori classroom, the student was required to develop five independent study albums (portfolios) relating to each of the five areas present in a Montessori environment. A year-long project album demonstrating the student’s creativity and knowledge of Montessori philosophy and developmentally appropriate practices for young children was required. Carmen’s albums were all graded as Pass with Distinction, the highest achievable grade.

As the Curriculum Director, I have had the professional pleasure of working with Carmen for two years now. She has been a remarkable teacher and an asset to our program. I feel confident that she will continue to succeed in whatever endeavor she undertakes. Carmen has demonstrated her ability to successfully develop plans and implement them. She has demonstrated leadership abilities in interactions with colleagues and parents. She consistently displays a pleasant and encouraging attitude. She is a focused and determined young woman.

Carmen has my professional endorsement and my deep personal respect.
It is with pleasure that I am able to write this recommendation letter on behalf of Carmen Melendez.

Please feel free to call at any time if I can be of further assistance.

Gretchen Simanski