Meet Our New Teachers: Uma Henderson
Alumni teaching at our school
Did you know Maharishi School Alumni Uma Henderson is a co-lead teacher in the Children’s House? Uma grew up in Fairfield and attended Maharishi School from K-12th grade. After graduating she moved to Boulder, Colorado to study holistic nutrition and natural medicine. Uma worked in the field of health and healing for many years. Her work allowed her to travel around the world to Thailand, Indonesia, and Hawaii.
After her traveling days came to an end, she wanted to reestablish a home base. That’s when Uma and her partner moved back to Fairfield and had their daughter, Prayma.
Maharishi School community
I asked Uma how she feels about growing up in the same community that she’s raising her daughter in and she said,
“I have to say that I had the sweetest childhood here in Fairfield. It was such a nourishing place to grow up and I am thankful everyday for the friends, teachers, and community that helped raise me and (to this day) still show their love and support.”
“I always felt that I wanted to return to Fairfield to settle down. For me, at the end of the day, it came down to the human connection and like-minded community that cultivated a true sense of happiness. This made it pretty clear to me where I wanted to raise my own children. My daughter was born here and now she is almost three. The support that I experienced from this community during my pregnancy, and through the first years of motherhood is more than I could have asked for. Returning here has been a really positive experience for many reasons, but a significant one is my opportunity to work at Maharishi School and have my daughter attend the Children’s House. I love being able to see her each day at school and I also immensely appreciate all of the parenting tools I have become familiar with being in this atmosphere.”
Teaching with covid-19
I also asked Uma what her thoughts are about teaching preschool during a pandemic. She responded,
“I had my concerns about returning to teaching at the preschool during the pandemic. Of course the obvious concern of being exposed to the virus, but also I was concerned about how the mask wearing and social distancing would affect the children socially and emotionally. For this reason, this year we have really prioritized their outdoor play time, where they can safely play mask free and also build strong connections with one another and the teachers. Cultivating these connections is key in helping them adapt and feel comfortable when we do have to be inside wearing a mask.”
“The work that we do at the Children’s House very much involves assisting the children in cultivating emotional intelligence. We help them to learn how to identify the emotions that they are feeling and voice them, so as to allow them to process their feelings and experiences in a healthy way. I believe that the emphasis we put on the emotional body allows the children to feel seen and heard. So although I did have initial concerns around the mask wearing, so far, I do believe that the children are handling it quite well, perhaps as a result of the emotionally nurturing environment we have provided.”
Being an alumni
I also asked Uma what it’s like to be teaching at the school where she is also an alumni, and what plans she has as a co-lead teacher this year.
“Returning to Maharishi School has honestly been such a sweet experience for me. Because I spent twelve years here growing up, it definitely feels surreal at times that life has come full circle over a decade later. It amazes me that now I am taking my daughter’s picture in the same place where my mother took mine each year on the first day of school.”
“I feel that it’s such an honor and privilege to be a teacher in the Children’s House at Maharishi School. Although sometimes I
feel that the students are really teaching me! I believe that each child has a well of innate knowledge and I believe that it’s my job to help nurture that as well as each child’s own inner intelligence and curiosity of the world around them. I have grown so much as a person as I’ve learned to embody the teachings of Montessori, as well as Positive Discipline, and Maharishi’s Science of Creative Intelligence. These three philosophies are what we follow in the Children’s House and they work harmoniously together to create such a smooth and enriching experience for the students and teachers.”
“Teaching children, for me, has been one of the most growth provoking, soul enriching, and heart warming experiences I have ever had. I am thrilled to be guiding these blossoming souls and am so excited to continue for years to come!”
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