Benjamin Gikow (He/Him)

Primary 5 Assistant Guide
My name is Ben Gikow and I moved from Andover, Massachusetts, to Austin, Texas, six years ago.  I am excited about entering my seventh year at Athena, my second as an Assistant in the Primary 2 classroom and my fourth year as an Assistant at Athena Montessori.
My life as an educator started when I was 13 as a Taekwondo instructor program where I taught people martial arts for four years. Guiding Taekwondo classes was a fun puzzle on its own in that it was one of the first times I realized how differently people learn.  From there I moved on to working as a camp counselor for the summer programs of AYS (Andover Youth Services) where I organized games and got kids involved in projects they might not otherwise invest in; it was an exciting experience that opened my eyes to the joy of working with the youth.

The next step in my life was college. I went to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a major in Visual Art Education and a minor in ceramics. I consider myself an artist and I enjoy illustrating, painting, building, crafting and bringing an artistic perspective to all problem solving. 

After college I worked at Shed Children’s Campus in Andover, a Reggio Emilia inspired after school program for children ranging from toddlers through grade school age.  I found the teaching philosophy to be efficient and adaptable to all learning types since Reggio also focuses on the child being the guide for learning.  After moving to Austin, I then joined the Athena team where I started working as an After School Support Guide. After a couple years of support, I moved into a new position as a Tots Assistant Guide. After two and a half years of being a Tots Assistant, I was ready to try out Primary. This will be my second year in Primary 2 and being in my own space in the outdoor environment has really enabled my creativity to flow! I am ready to help the little scientists, explorers, creators and learners of Athena take their discoveries to the next level. I look forward to meeting you all!

Warm regards, 
Ben Gikow