Aer is both School Director and Head Teacher at Chiang Mai Montessori and guides all teaching and learning at the school. Aer received her Montessori teaching certificate from the Maria Montessori Training Organisation (MMTO), the only Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) college in the UK, founded by Dr. Montessori herself.
Aer holds a further Observation Diploma from MMTO. After her graduation, Aer led a Montessori class of 30 children at the AMI Neighbourhood Montessori Nursery in London before returning to her hometown, Chiang Mai, in 2009.
Aer also possesses a skill that a teacher can’t simply acquire at college and that is a natural brilliance with children. She has the ability to communicate directly with young children and holds a deep love and respect for the early learner. Aer quickly establishes a lasting bond with each of the children she works with and this proves, time and time again, to be one of her most valuable and admired qualities as a teacher.
Aer was the first of two children in a small loving farming family. As a child she helped her parents at local markets by looking after her baby sister, Amy, while they sold their wares. At the local government school she remembers being tied to the classroom chair because the teacher complained that she had too much energy! She did well academically and excelled in foreign languages, and although her parents could not afford to send her to university they worked hard, pulled their resources together and just managed to get her through. It was an investment that paid off as Aer was rewarded with a first class degree in English with a teaching major. When she graduated she was the first member of her family to obtain a university education.
Aer had a happy childhood and always loved to be around children. She also possessed a quality that you can’t simply learn in school and that is a natural brilliance for communicating and working with young children. So she chose to do what she loved, and after graduating from university she became a kindergarten teacher, building experience in various bilingual kindergartens and schools around Chiang Mai. She quickly became disheartened with the quality of early years education however and decided if she was going to get more fulfilment from teaching young children she would have to open her own nursery school and do it better!
On a visit to Chiang Rai Aer saw the Montessori style of learning for the first time and was totally enthralled by what she saw: children from a broad range of backgrounds working independently and confidently with enjoyment, focus and determination, and in a remarkably harmonious classroom atmosphere. Aer went to London and trained to become a fully qualified Montessori teacher at the Association Montessori International (AMI) Montessori training college. From there she went straight into a teaching position leading class of 30 children in the London borough of Chelsea.
By late 2009 Aer was ready to return to Thailand, having set herself a new challenge of starting the first Montessori school in Chiang Mai . 2010 turned out to be a busy year for Aer and Dan. Building on the new site (just 400 yards from Aer’s family home) began in January and the school opened in June with Aer leading the fledgling Children’s House class of just 4 children! Aer’s first son, Finnlay, was born two months later!
Aer lives in Chiang Mai with her husband Dan and two boys Finnlay and Joleon.