My Story

For as long as I can remember, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to be a teacher. I attended a Montessori school until the age of ten and in my eyes my teachers were the most extraordinary people on the planet. I wanted to grow up to be just like them – and I did!

As soon as I was able, I volunteered at the same school I attended as a child. I also volunteered at art schools, women’s shelters, and at the local children’s hospital in order to gain as much varied teaching and developmental experience as I could. I soon came to realize that not only did I possess an intense passion for working with children, but I also demonstrated keen interest in supporting women and families. This led to completing an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Women’s Studies from McMaster University, followed by a graduate certificate in Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Education from Sheridan College.

After a few years teaching, I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. I met a woman who was looking for guidance from an experienced educator to help plan and prepare for the opening of a new Montessori school in the Greater Toronto Area. During this collaboration, I provided knowledge and support as we approached and successfully executed this ambitious plan. I transitioned to the role of program supervisor and in September 2007, the two-room school opened its doors to 6 students and their families. From the beginning, we were committed to delivering a classic Montessori curriculum, which resulted in an eventually full school of thriving, happy children, and dedicated educators. Additionally, we were able to effectively create and sustain a close-knit community of students, teachers, and parents. Following a school expansion in 2015, the commitment to excellent education continues with 7 classrooms, 160 students and families, and 24 staff.

Throughout my years as a teacher and educational supervisor, I learned the value of establishing and maintaining trusting relationships not only with my students and colleagues, but also with the families of the children within the school. As time went on, I began to recognize that there was a growing need for additional parental support. Although our school offered a wide range of valuable parenting resources, workshops, and reliable access to its educators, it was becoming evident that while the parents trusted the school, they were feeling increasingly disconnected from their own instincts. Not knowing where else to turn, they were reaching out often for parenting advice and effective strategies to incorporate at home.

It was this which inspired Nurture the Nature: Parent Education and Professional Development Services

It is my goal to continue to impactfully support children and their education by facilitating the development of effective parent-teacher partnerships, as well as enriched and fulfilling parenting, teaching, and educational experiences.

My Philosophy

Although the foundation of my approach is rooted in the Montessori philosophy, my varied experience has provided me with the knowledge required to effectively support school communities in vast array of child care and educational settings. Whether I am working within a school or with an individual family, I emphasize respect and understanding for each distinct relationship and set of circumstances. Each program I deliver is unique to who I am working with, and the outcomes largely rely on our collaborative efforts. Although I am regarded as an expert in childhood development and parent-teacher relations, I am only one piece of the puzzle. By working together, my goal is to educate, encourage, and empower parents and educators towards enriched and fulfilling parenting and teaching experiences. I also strive to facilitate the development of improved parent-teacher communication and relationships, as well as enhanced educational experiences for school communities as a whole.

“Children are the priority. Change is the reality. Collaboration is the strategy.”

Judith Billings