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Meet the staff: Our management team

three women, two blonde, one brunette, standing on the Bloom school rooftop with mountains rising behind them

This edition of "Meet the Staff" is a little different from our previous interviews! While the school management team isn't part of the teaching staff, they are integral to the Bloom community, known by all the students. Elvira, Samka, and Elma manage school administration and support the teaching staff, ensuring the smooth flow of daily activities. Additionally, like the rest of Bloom's staff, they are nearly all Montessori trained. As non-teaching staff and mothers of Bloom students, they offer a unique perspective on the school.

Although you are not part of the teaching staff, your work is essential to keep things running smoothly at Bloom. Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about when you started working at Bloom and about the work you do?

Elvira Spahić: I'm Elvira, and I joined Bloom in January 2019 as the School Office Manager.

I handle communication with parents, relay information about the school and our operations, organize school visits, manage the Transparent Classroom platform for parents, and oversee the procurement of materials and other essentials to ensure the smooth functioning of the school.

Samka Džananović Obaidat: I'm Samka, the School Pedagogue at Bloom. I've been here for two years. My role focuses on fostering relationships among all participants in the educational process, including children, teachers, parents, and the Ministry of Education.

Elma Solak Helja: I am Elma, the secretary of Bloom's educational institutions, which include the kindergarten, primary, and secondary schools. I joined Bloom in 2018, having previously been part of the legal team representing the school. I've been working as a lawyer in the education sector for almost nine years.

What is your favorite part of the day at Bloom?

Elvira: My favorite part of the day is lunchtime in kindergarten. I feed the younger children, ensuring they all brush their teeth when they finish, and often go outside to play with them.

Samka: Mornings at Bloom are particularly special to me. The morning gathering, when teachers greet the children at the door, is filled with smiles as the students feel welcomed and anticipated. The connection between teachers and students at Bloom is subtle, often communicated through glances. Facial expressions reveal whether someone has had enough sleep, is in the mood for work, or has any problems.

Elma: I love the mornings at Bloom the most. The energy is at its peak, productivity is highest, and I use this time to plan all daily activities. The arrival of children and colleagues creates a special dynamic, while we discuss current priorities and set the tone for the day.

Children often come to the office for various reasons. Can you share with us a favorite anecdote from one such visit?

Elvira: I can't think of a specific anecdote, but when children enter the office, they often say they've come to work and ask for a task. We always make sure to give them something to do, making them feel useful. This time together is important, and we strive to make it meaningful and engaging.

Samka: There are many anecdotes, making it hard to choose a favorite. Children are happy to come to the office and always expect a task. They enjoy feeling useful, whether it's helping us print something or assembling materials. In return, they often leave us a drawing or a nice message, which brightens our day and brings us joy.

Elma: It's difficult for me to single out a particular anecdote because I find all the children's visits endlessly endearing. They perceive us differently from their teachers, making every encounter special.

Have you learned anything new about yourself since you started working at Bloom?

Elvira: I've learned that expressing feelings clearly is crucial because children often imitate our behavior. When they see us openly sharing our emotions and dislikes, they feel more at ease expressing their own feelings. By addressing what bothers us, we not only find solutions but also foster a healthier environment for everyone involved.

Samka: Yes, I've learned the importance of flexibility, understanding that the best approach to working with children is to follow their interests and let them lead the learning process. Children naturally find their way when given the freedom to explore and guide their own learning journey.

Elma: Our elementary school stands is the sole Montessori private school in Bosnia and Herzegovina that officially registered with the Ministry of Education. This entails strict adherence to domestic regulations while simultaneously embracing the dynamic Montessori educational method and philosophy. Balancing these traditional regulations with innovative approaches has taught me invaluable lessons in creativity within an educational setting.

As all of you have at least one child attending Bloom, do you believe that the school's non-traditional approach has positively influenced your children?

Elvira: Bloom has taught my children the belief that with practice, they can accomplish anything independently. They've become highly self-reliant, openly express their emotions, and have developed resilience in handling situations that challenge them. They embrace new adventures with enthusiasm and feel loved and secure within the Bloom community. For my kids, Bloom's approach is the only choice.

Samka: My son is not yet three years old, and I attribute much of his growing independence and curiosity to his time at Bloom Kindergarten. I'm delighted that he's part of the Bloom community.

Elma: My daughter is two years and four months old and has been attending kindergarten for just two months. Due to my extensive experience working at Bloom, I've been able to apply everything I've learned from our educators and teachers with my daughter right from the start. Apart from dedication and love, I owe the greatest gratitude to the principles I've learned at Bloom for shaping her into who she is today.

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