Faculty Profiles: Patty Schaible and Anna Gilcher


Patty Schaible

"Time flies when you’re having fun.” - unknown

Patty has been at teaching at Barrie for 26 years. She attributes the speed of the passing time to her decision to become a Montessori teacher. Patty began her career as a first grade teacher in the Baltimore City Public Schools. She knows now that she was always a Montessorian at heart but had not yet discovered this path. She was searching for a preschool for her own child when a Montessori school was recommended.

The rest, as they say, is history. Patty feels that once she decided to take the Montessori training, she began a journey. She believes the Montessori philosophy is unique because it is not a means to an end but a means to a beginning. As Patty began to absorb the curriculum and learn the amazing powers of the Montessori materials, she found herself becoming part of a new lifestyle, one of discovery. As she embraced the curriculum, Patty found that one of the main attractions of this philosophy is that the teacher is not the traditional figure of authority and knowledge; but that the teacher acts as the guide, the person who is constantly modeling a sense of curiosity and wonder.

Patty continues to have fun as she leads her students down new paths of discovery. Patty earned her teaching degree from The College of Notre Dame of Maryland and later received her Elementary I and II credentials from The Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies (IAMS) here at Barrie. Patty later spent several years as a trainer at IAMS and at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado.

B.A. in Education, College of Notre Dame in Maryland
Elementary I and II Credentials, Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies


Anna Gilcher

"To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go."

--Mary Oliver, "In Blackwater Woods"

Anna spent a year living with a family in France as a 16-year-old AFS exchange student, and French has been part of her life ever since. She met her husband in an 18th-century French literature class at the University of Maryland and went on to earn a PhD in 19th-century French literature at Duke University. She stayed home with her two children when they were small and worked for several years as a spiritual director, meeting one-on-one with people to listen to their spiritual journey. During that time she also immersed herself in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and InterPlay, approaches that she puts to use daily in her interactions with students and colleagues.

Anna has been at Barrie since April 2009. She has been thrilled to find her way back to teaching French, where, thanks to Barrie’s commitment to nourishing the whole child, is able to do much the same work she did as a spiritual director (only now in French!): she listens with generosity and meets her students exactly where they are. This is at the very center of her philosophy of education: students learn best when they are met with acceptance, compassion, and enjoyment. Since this is coupled with high academic standards and an immersion environment in Anna's classes at Barrie, her students finish the program with a high level of proficiency in French and the confidence to put that proficiency to good use. As Chair of the Language Department, Anna celebrates Barrie's equally excellent program in Spanish and works with her colleagues to enrich the teaching and learning of language and culture at the school.

Anna speaks German and Spanish in addition to French. When not teaching or tending to her children, Anna loves yoga, cycling, reading, centering prayer, good food, and great conversation.

BA, University of Maryland (Summa cum laude, with General Honors, with High Honors in French)
MA, Ph.D., Duke University, 19th-c. French literature

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