Teacher Introduction

A little about Sra. Valdes:

I was born in Alexandria, Virginia but my parents and I moved to Chile when I was two years old. I am married and have a 12-year-old daughter, an 11-year-old daughter, and a 5-year-old son; all three of them also attend Casa! The five of us came to Raleigh last October and we love it here. I like to read, go to the movies, knit and crochet, and spend time with my family and my students.

Though this is my first year teaching at Casa Esperanza, this is my 17th year teaching. I went to college in Chile and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Language and in Education. We have an exciting year planned!

A little about Sra. Collazo:

Hello, my name is Margaret Collazo. I was born in Dominican Republic. I moved to New York when I was 15 years old. I have been living in Raleigh for twelve years. I’ve been happily married for 26 years. I am a mother of five and one is still a Casa student. Josua is 25, Samantha is 18, Emma 15, Amelia is 13, and Ethan is 10. I have 19 years of experience working with children. I hold an associate’s degree in Early Childhood education. This is my 11th year in the immersion program at Casa and I am excited and looking forward to working with your children.

~*~ Classroom Wish List ~*~

Our wishlist for the 2019-2020 school year can be found on SignUpGenius. Thank you for your contributions.

Important Info, Dates, & Links

Email and contact info:

Maria Valdéz – Teacher
Margaret Collazo – Paraprofessional

It is important for each child to attend school for the FIRST 20 DAYS to ensure 100% funding for our charter school.

Check back to see important dates and expect to see links here for online learning tools and online volunteer sign ups.

In addition to staying up to date with the amazing things we’re doing in our classroom, please read the GET INVOLVED and STUDENT LIFE sections of our website, too. If you have a question, and can’t find the answer on our website, we’d appreciate it if you would be a helpful citizen of our community and let us know! Chances are someone else has had that same question. 🙂  Thank you!


Developing a positive attitude toward learning
Most learning activities are individualized. Each child engages in learning tasks that appeal to them and they find the activities geared to their needs and level of readiness. Each child works at their own rate, repeating tasks often, if they like, and experiencing achievements! In this way, each child naturally builds a positive attitude toward learning itself.

Developing self confidence
New tasks will be built upon what the child has already mastered. A carefully planned series of successes builds upon inner confidence in children. It assures them that they can learn by themselves. Confidence-building activities contribute to the child’s healthy emotional development.

Building a habit of concentration
Effective learning presupposes the ability to listen carefully and to attend to what is said or demonstrated. Through a series of absorbing experiences, children form habits of extended attention, thus increasing their ability to concentrate.

Fostering an abiding curiosity
A deep, persistent and abiding curiosity is a prerequisite for creative learning. By providing the child with opportunities to discover qualities, dimensions and relationships amidst a rich variety of stimulating learning situations, curiosity is developed and an essential element in creative learning has been established.

Developing habits of initiative and persistence
By surrounding children with appealing materials and learning activities geared to their inner needs, they becomes accustomed to engaging in activities on their own. Gradually, this results in a habit of initiative which is an essential quality of leadership. “Ground rules” call for completing a task once begun and gradually results in a habit of persistence and perseverance for replacing materials after the task is accomplished. This “completion expectation” gradually results in a habit of persistence and perseverance.

Fostering inner security and sense of order
Through a well ordered, enriched but simplified environment, the child’s need for order and security is intensely satisfied. This is noticed in the calming effect the environment has on the child. Since every item in the Montessori classroom has a place and the “ground rules” call for everything in its place, the child’s inner need for order is directly satisfied.


As soon as we are comfortable with the expectations of our classroom we will start to focus on lessons. This section will let you know what we’re learning about, and if you have educational materials at home that you would like to lend to our classroom to enhance a lesson please contact us!
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