Ms. Shinners

Michelle Shinners holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from St. Mary’s College of Minnesota and has worked on scenery building, prop making and stage management for dozens of academic, community theatre and professional shows. Early on she found herself frequently drawn to opportunities where she could share her love of theatre with children. She was a VISTA Volunteer in Alaska, where she played drama games and directed short plays with Girl Scouts, and a visiting artist for Minneapolis Public Schools, where she used theatre to help children increase their reading fluency. Based on these experiences Michelle decided that she wanted to pursue teaching as a career and attended the University of Minnesota and earned a teaching certification and a Master’s of Education degree. Over the course of eleven years, Michelle taught in a Chicago elementary school, where she worked in different roles including second grade teacher, technology instructor and storytime facilitator.

Meanwhile, Michelle’s daughter Eliza was thriving as a Council Oak Montessori student. Michelle became a COMS volunteer, eventually directing the school musical. She had plenty of opportunities to observe and be impressed with the deep thinking and sustained effort of the students’ work cycles and found herself musing that if she had the chance to do it over again, she might very well choose to become a Montessori educator. In the summer of 2018 that chance came and Michelle enrolled in Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center, where she has bugun her intensive learning about Montessori philosophy and practice. Michelle is thrilled to be a part of the Lower Elementary COMS classroom.