Upper School Program Developer

Matt Ballin


Matt Ballin

Matt Ballin entered the field of education nearly a decade ago when he moved across the country to begin teaching and writing history curriculum. Since then, he has earned a Montessori Elementary certification from Association Montessori Internationale, and has held a variety of roles, including history teacher, literature/language arts teacher, and head teacher in a Montessori elementary classroom. His mission is to help create learning environments that enable children to live a fully human life, now and in the future: one of knowledge, action, and self-determination.

My Story

Learn more about Matt.

  • What inspires you about education?

    My own experience in formal education contrasted dramatically with my experience self-educating. I was always a reader and an explorer of knowledge, but school, the institution that was supposed to enable that sort of pursuit, was boring and demotivating.

    Education is appealing both because it allows me to do many of the things I enjoy – for example, learning and communicating – while helping to create the sort of school environment I always wished to have.

  • How did you discover Montessori?

    I began my teaching career at a school that offered Montessori education to younger students, although I taught the older ones who were in a more traditional setting. I was learning what helped and hindered my students, while simultaneously learning about Montessori through conversation and observation. Over time, it became clear to me that the Montessori environments in many ways more closely matched my personal vision of education, and so joining the Elementary training was a clear path.

  • How does Montessori philosophy inspire your daily life?

    It’s less that Montessori philosophy inspires my daily life, and more that Montessori philosophy dovetails with the way I live and think.

  • What have you learned from your time working at Higher Ground thus far?

    One of the most common challenges I’ve found in the work so far is thinking in terms of scaling. There are many challenges that arise naturally in trying to prepare lessons or practices for one’s own classroom, and even more that arise when trying to prepare something to be used by one or two others; to think on the scale of “unlimited future classrooms” is the most exciting sort of daunting I can imagine.

  • What do you enjoy most about working with your teammates?

    Even in the cases where I might prefer a different approach to that which one of my colleagues prefers, I know the disagreement will ultimately be resolved because we are aiming at the same goal and coming from the same fundamental principles of human needs and development. HGE is full of people who want to get it right.

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