Thu, Aug. 22

Q&A with Verde Valley Teacher of the Week Eva Ancira

Eva Ancira teaches 5-year-old Rochelle Lewis at the Montessori Children’s House, located on the Yavapai-Apache Nation’s Middle Verde reservation. VVN/Bill Helm

Eva Ancira teaches 5-year-old Rochelle Lewis at the Montessori Children’s House, located on the Yavapai-Apache Nation’s Middle Verde reservation. VVN/Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE – Eva Ancira has been with Montessori Children’s House in Camp Verde since its inception in 1998. According to the school’s director, Ancira’s love of children and passion for teaching have “not diluted throughout the years.”

“It is obvious she loves what she does,” said Merika Bach, director of the Montessori Children’s House. “She is a loving and kind woman with solid principles. The children – I will estimate over 700 – who have crossed paths with Eva Ancira are all better for it.”

Ancira said recently that she “always knew” that she wanted to work with children.

“When I was young, I remember babysitting my cousins,” Ancira said. “When I was in high school, I took a child development class. I was required to teach lessons to elementary school students. It was then I knew that was what I wanted to do.”

According to Bach, Ancira prepares the classroom environment in a “stimulating and encouraging manner.”

“She is very observant to the needs of the children,” Bach said. “She is able to enhance and continue the children’s academic progression through steady encouragement, refinement and support. She is also very adept at making individual adjustments when necessary.”

Bach also said that Ancira’s understanding of the “flow and sequence as it pertains to the Montessori method supports her abilities to guide the children in their educational path.”

“Eva has a wonderful report with the children,” Bach said. “The children love and adore Eva.”

Verde Valley Newspapers: Tell us about your teaching style.

Eva Ancira: “I prefer the Montessori style of teaching above all else. The children move at their own pace and they have more freedom than they do in the traditional classroom setting.”

VVN: Tell us something notable about your career.

Ancira: “In May, 2018 I decided to go back to school. I am so excited to be attending school, it offers me daily challenges. My days are long, but I know it will be worth it. I will be graduating soon and I am thrilled to see what other opportunities life has in store for me.

VVN: What do you like most about teaching?

Ancira: “Spending time with the children and talking with them. They are so much fun to be around. Children say the funniest things.”

VVN: What do you like least about teaching?

Ancira: “Saying goodbye to the students when they promote to a higher grade. I spend so much time with them that it is hard to let go. Montessori is a three-year program, so you get very attached to the children in that time period.”

VVN: Do you have a favorite quote?

Ancira: The Dalai Lama said “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”

VVN: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

Ancira: “That I am bilingual and I bring my [Spanish] language, traditional foods, art and music into the classroom. The children absorb everything so quickly that I know I am making a cultural impact in their lives.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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