Global Guides and a Shared Mission at Fort Mason (2023)

This Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re thrilled to honor incredible guides all across the Guidepost network. Here we want to celebrate three such exceptional guides from our Fort Mason campus. Guidepost at Fort Mason is in the heart of San Francisco and serves children from 2.5 to 14 years old in their Children’s House (preschool / kindergarten), elementary, and associated ATI middle school programs.

Though we would love to highlight the stories of all our amazing guides, here we want honor Ms. Martha, Mr. Hugo, and Ms. Adriana, guides from different corners of the world who have each discovered Montessori and a mutualpassion for helping children achieve independence and reach their full potential.

Ms. Martha, Lead Guide, Children’s House

Global Guides and a Shared Mission at Fort Mason (1)Global Guides and a Shared Mission at Fort Mason (2)

Ms. Martha recently joined Guidepost to lead her own Children’s House classroom after working as an assistant guide in a Spanish Immersion Montessori school.

“Martha is an experienced, bilingual Montessori teacher and is our Children's House lead guide. She joined our team in November and has helped us open and license our Children's House classroom. She is guiding our youngest students with such grace, love, and warmth. We are all so lucky to have Martha at our Fort Mason campus!”

Though born in the U.S., Ms. Martha grew up mostly in Mexico where she first got her degree in Early Childhood Education. She has always loved working with young children, and after a Montessori class piqued her interest, she went on to receive a Montessori certificate and worked as an assistant guide in a Spanish immersion Montessori school.

For Ms. Martha, it’s a privilege to get to work with her students—to see their talent and dedication and be a part of their educational journey. Their unique perspectives and their enthusiasm for learning inspires her to bring her best to support them every single day. She sees part of her mission as harnessing that enthusiasm and cultivating a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

Explaining her aspirations for her students, Ms. Martha said, “I love seeing the progress and growth my students make throughout the year, and it's incredibly rewarding to witness their hard work and dedication paying off. Ultimately, my goal is to help each and every one of my students reach their full potential. I want to create a classroom where everyone feels valued, supported, and inspired to be their best selves.”

Mr. Hugo, Lead Guide, Elementary

Global Guides and a Shared Mission at Fort Mason (3)Global Guides and a Shared Mission at Fort Mason (4)

After walking into a Montessori classroom for the first time 7 years ago, Mr. Hugo knew he just had to become a guide.

“Mr. Hugo does an amazing job teaching his combined LE/UE Elementary class. He is knowledgeable and has a deep understanding of the subject matter, is patient with his students and all of their various needs, and always supports them both academically and personally. His students have learned so much from him and are having such a positive and successful school year! ”

Originally from France, Mr. Hugo moved to the San Francisco area over a decade ago. With a background in linguistics, his first introduction to Montessori occurred when he was hired to teach French at an international Montessori school. He was so amazed by his students that he decided this was it—he had to become a Montessori guide—and he’s been a Montessori guide ever since!

Mr. Hugo’s goal for his students is to give them “the keys to the universe”—to take their big questions about the world and give them the tools to start to answer them for themselves. He loves that children at the elementary level are beginning to think abstractly and want to understand complex topics. He believes by giving them the tools to think, question, and evaluate the world, there will be no limit to what they can learn going forward.

Speaking of some of the favorite parts of his job, Mr. Hugo explained, “I love how our program allows guides to meet students where they are. Each child is unique and has different needs. I am so pleased to see every child succeed in our classroom because we can design individualized curriculums to support all our students. Being able to see how my students are proud of their work and how they become more and more confident learners is priceless!”

Ms. Adriana, Assistant Guide

Global Guides and a Shared Mission at Fort Mason (5)Global Guides and a Shared Mission at Fort Mason (6)

Ms. Adriana is at the very beginning of her childcare career and has been with Guidepost for the past 2.5 years.

“Ms. Adriana is our Assistant Guide who supports both [Ms. Martha’s and Mr. Hugo’s] classrooms. She always goes above and beyond and supports our campus with anything and everything. ”

While working on earning various degrees in Early Childhood education, Ms. Adriana has spent time teaching children of various ages. She has been a student teacher with 3 to 4 year-olds in a preschool setting and has worked with elementary age students tutoring students and assisting with an art academy program.

Describing the most rewarding part of being a guide, Ms. Adriana said, “What I love about working with our students is seeing them become capable of completing a task independently, seeing their own personal growth throughout the year, and observing facial expressions at the time of achievement.”

Ms. Martha, Mr. Hugo, and Ms. Adriana each contribute to a positive school culture at Fort Mason. Their passion for providing the best support, their enthusiasm when a child attains success, and their commitment to learn and grow along with the children they serve is palpable. And our parents have a lot to say about the impact of their (and the entire staff at Fort Mason’s) work:

“Guidepost Montessori at Fort Mason amazes me in their commitment to provide the best environment for my child to grow and learn. My son started earlier this year and now LOVES going to school every day. When we get there to pick him up, he is having so much fun and it is hard to get him out of there! I love the small class size because it allows one on one interactions. The whole staff is so thoughtful, patient, and friendly and the teachers are experienced and amazing. This school and community have so much to offer and I cannot recommend this school enough to other families who are looking for an authentic and nurturing Montessori environment for their children.”

“My boy started Guidepost a few days ago and he likes these guys so much! I would not even imagine that there could be such beautiful care for kids. There are a lot of toys and playful spaces. Not too many kids in a group and it's amazing! Thank you for your service! My baby boy is happy to attend Guidepost!”

“We could not be happier with our time at Guidepost! The staff is friendly, warm, and invested in the kids! We previously attended a public school and found that the Montessori approach suited our kids better. Now, hearing the quality conversations we have with them, we know we made the right decision in making the switch. The kids have nothing but good things to say about the school and their staff. One key factor that I think is commonly overlooked when considering programs—this program gives kids the unique opportunity to have input in their learning. They allow the children to steer their educational journey in a way I have never seen before. This in turn creates buy-in and fosters authentic engagement from the students. We are thankful to have found this program! ”

Maria Montessori first demonstrated over a century ago that her approach knew no borders—that children could benefit from the method and guides could implement it regardless oftheir location or culture. Our guides at Fort Mason come from all across the U.S. and the world and yet are all animated by the same vision: to tread thoughtfully, scientifically, and expectantlyas they step into the lives of individual children and provide the tools theyneed to build independence, gain knowledge, and author their lives.

* Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity

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