Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this dedicated Primary teacher from her classroom and those young smiles awaiting her. While this motto is borrowed from the United States Postal Service, this could just as well be Koral Walters’ mantra.
Despite having the furthest commute, she is usually the first one on campus and has been for the last 20-plus years (don’t let her know we told you it’s 20-plus!).
Following a career as a children’s clothing buyer for a major retail chain in the Mid-Atlantic region, Koral started her Montessori career in Maryland assisting in a Primary environment and received her Montessori training at the Washington Montessori Institute.
She has called Mountain Shadows home ever since.
Hometown: Born in Texas, raised in Ohio.
How did you end up in Fort Collins? My husband accepted a position at Colorado State University.
Prior to your life as a Montessori teacher: I was a children’s clothing buyer for a major retail department store in the D.C., Virginia, Maryland region.
How did you get into teaching Montessori? Long story!
If you weren’t teaching, what do you think you’d be doing? Teaching….something!
What book(s) are on your nightstand : I have stacks, currently at the top is To Educate the Human Potential andThe Child, Society, and World.
Your guilty pleasure is: Coffee and chocolate!
The item ALWAYS in your refrigerator: Milk for my coffee.
Your favorite book/movie as a child was: Peter Pan.
What do you love most about MSMS? The children, their families, and the caring and supportive community that we have here.
Your most unusual job held: I’ve only worked in retail and education; maybe when I was a boys’ physical education substitute?
What is your “Montessori Moment”? Having the faith that after the lessons and after the repetition, the child discovers reading, helps another child all on their own, or wants to dust all of the shelves. Seeing joy on the child’s face when they discover that they can do it themselves.
What inspires you about Montessori? I love that each day is different and the smiles on the children’s faces. The child’s curiosity, the children wanting more and keeping me challenged.
You never turn down: See guilty pleasure!
What do you wish most people knew about Montessori? That Montessori is scientifically based and it is because of Maria Montessori and her scientific observations of the child that we do what we do. This approach to education is about preparing the whole child. We ensure that the child has an active role in their education process and that they are preparing to have an active role in their community. This is about allowing the child to develop freedom within limits. It is about trust, trusting the child’s development into a wonderful being.
What warmed your heart this week in your classroom? When I came back from being out, all of the smiles and hugs from the children, I missed them!
What do you like to do in your free time? We like to be outdoors – hiking, camping, sailing (but my boat is in Ohio), gardening, and if time permits – artsy stuff.
Looking forward: Over the tenure of my Montessori career, I have been very fortunate to meet and listen to presentations by wonderful people at Montessori conferences. Our AMI school consultants all have been kind, helpful, and supportive. I have been fortunate to have worked with a collaborative staff who alway show a willingness to help and support each other. I feel I have some knowledge (and I’m still learning), I have experience, and I’d be honored to help others with this work. It’s very big and never-ending work – it the pursuit of a lifetime.