HMS Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Nikki

Pre-Primary Head Teacher- Ms. Nikki

Please share a little background about yourself:

My name is Nikole (also known as Miss. Nikki.) I am originally from a small town in the south of Costa Rica. I come from a big family with 5 sisters and 2 brothers. I graduated from the National University of Costa Rica in 2012 where I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Women's Studies. I moved to the USA in 2013, because I wanted to be closer to my Mom. I consider Summit, NJ my hometown in this country. Sometimes you can find me dining or just grabbing a cup of coffee in downtown Summit, even though I don't live there anymore.

I started working at HMS as a Teacher's Assistant at the beginning of 2017. I immediately fell in love with Dr. Maria Montessori’s teaching philosophy. In 2019, I made the decision to move to Jersey City ( a very big change, I know!). I wanted to have an easier commute and a change of scenery. Moving to JC was one of the best decisions I have made. I love everything about Jersey City-the people, culture, coffee shops, restaurants, and especially the views from Exchange Place and Liberty State Park.

I am a vegan and I am always looking for the best vegan restaurants in town. Searching for vegan restaurants is how I met my boyfriend, Dhruva. He owns Plant Base Market, a zero waste market in Jersey City. Together we have 4 cats, Amy, Puzzle, Scramble and Heidi. It can get very crazy in our house especially at night when our cats want to have a cat party!

How did you discover Montessori?

Awhile back, a friend told me a little bit about the Montessori method. It wasn’t until I started working at HMS that I began to fully understand what it means to teach in a Montessori school. I was captivated by the peaceful, beautiful and quiet classrooms, where children work independently and at their own pace.

What inspired you to become an educator? I have always been surrounded by children. I used to babysit my little cousins from a very young age. My mom has always said that I have a special gift when it comes to interacting and working with children. What inspired me most to become a teacher is that teachers change lives. We are in this world to guide children to reach their full potential. I adore coming to school every morning and seeing the smile on my student's faces. It makes me so proud when I hear them saying, “Look Ms. Nikki, I did it !”

What is your favorite area in the Montessori classroom? Language is my favorite area of the Montessori classroom. The process of how children begin to babble their first sounds, to put sounds together to create words, and then to eventually read is magical.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love having a cup of coffee in the morning, watching tv shows, cooking and doing different things that take me out of my comfort zone. You can always find me at my boyfriend’s market finding ingredients to create new and healthy recipes. I love cooking and baking. I love to FaceTime my siblings, nieces and nephew every weekend because being so far apart from them is hard. Spending time in my apartment with my boyfriend and family always brings peace to my heart. I enjoy running, doing yoga and meditation. A favorite destination of mine is Clearwater Beach,Florida where I love to kayak. In the summer months, I love to visit Georgia and North Carolina. If you don’t know what to talk to me about, anything related to cats is always a great icebreaker!

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