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"Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world."

Maria Montessori

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Montessori At Home NYC

with Janine YC Lai

I believe learning occurs in an inquisitive, cooperative, and nurturing atmosphere. Children increase their own understandings of the world through self-initiated and educator-initiated experiences. Children learn through manipulative materials and interacting with others. These meaningful experiences are precursors to the abstract understanding of ideas and concepts.

The individual is considered a whole. The physical, emotional, social, aesthetic, spiritual, and intellectual needs and interests are inseparable and equally important. Respect for oneself, others, the environment, and life, is necessary to develop a caring attitude toward all beings and the world around us.

The role of the Montessori educator:

facilitator - guide

Emphasis on respect, competency, self-initiative, responsibility, self-management, and the ability to view experiences from different perspectives—is placed on every aspect of interactions with children.

It is in my belief that children are born autonomous and learners, and I strive to bring that to each child’s attention, to grow interdependently in a nurturing prepared environment.  See how Montessori philosophy can be seamlessly and practically incorporated in your home here.

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Prepared Environment via Interior Design ~ Mandarin-Chinese Immersion ~ Human Design 

Montessori At Home NYC with Janine YC Lai will help bring the Montessori pedagogy into your home environment by following the main Montessori tenet, the Prepared Environment. 

Janine has a background in residential interior design, material design, color and lighting design, and spatial planning.

In-home tutoring sessions combining Montessori philosophy with Mandarin-Chinese language immersion are available in person or remotely.

With the help of the Human Design tool, a quick assessment of the child's intuitive learning style can be quickly determined.

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Professional History

Past Positions

February 2011 - April 2019

Private Household // Mandarin-Chinese Tutor, Montessori Facilitator


Integrated age- and developmentally-appropriate Montessori early-childhood education with Mandarin-Chinese language immersion in a home-environment for 3 siblings (ages 1, 3, and 4), one of whom predisposed with dyslexia; interior-designed an age-appropriate prepared environment in their private home; recruited and acclimated new hires to childen- and household-specific educational approaches

September 2014 - May 2015

Avenues the World School // Mandarin-Chinese SEIT


Assisted teachers and aided a child with dyslexia in a Mandarin-Chinese classroom with support to language and communication skills, and actively implemented strategies on child's transitions between activities

June 2010 - August 2010

West Side Montessori School // Head Teacher, Summer Camp


Led class of 20+ children in a multi-aged classroom with 3 assistant teachers; created customized classroom materials to children’s interests and strength; guided individual and small group presentations; led group morning meetings; organized daily activities and schedules; led class meetings and parent-teacher conferences

September 2008 - June 2010

West Side Montessori School // Assistant Teacher


Co-led class of 20+ children in a multi-aged classroom; created customized classroom materials to children’s interests and strength; assisted headteachers in group meetings, schedules, and other classroom tasks; coordinated park walks and roof/gym schedules; partook in parent-teacher conferences; assisted admissions with admission interviews and process

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Maria Montessori

“The aim of Montessori education is to foster autonomous, competent, responsible, adaptive citizens who are life-long learners and problem solvers."

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Concordia College / Master’s Degree, Early Childhood Special

Education/Montessori Education - Dean’s List



Empire State College / Bachelor of Arts

MAR 2010 - MAY 2011, NYC


West Side Montessori Teacher Education / AMS Early Childhood

Montessori Education Certification

SEPT 2008 - MAY 2009, NYC


Humber College / Music - Jazz Vocals

SEPT 2002 - MAY 2003, NYC


BCIT / Interior Design - Residential - cum laude

SEPT 2001 - MAY 2002, NYC

AutoCAD. Lighting and Space Planning. Color Thoery.

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"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, ’The children are now working as if I did not exist.’"

Maria Montessori

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Get in Touch

NYC 917 847 8284

TW 0906 915 878

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