Teacher Spotlight: Margarita Bekaris - Ivywood

Teacher Spotlight: Margarita Bekaris

Margarita Bekaris is our next teacher spotlight. She is coming back to teaching after being away for many years. Mrs. Bekaris followed her dreams and is an inspiration that they do come true. She is excited to be part of Ivywood’s story. 

Where were you born and raised? 

I was born in Quincy, Massachusetts to Greek immigrants. We later moved to Michigan when I was about 3 years old. 

Who inspired you to become a teacher? 

I was inspired to become a teacher because my elementary school teachers took a personal interest in me and my siblings, providing encouragement, caring and a ‘home away from home.’ They helped build the foundation for my success in school. I’ll never forget how they looked out for me and my brothers. 

What was your journey to becoming a teacher? 

I love learning and have had the privilege of obtaining different degrees at two different colleges. I studied psychology as an undergrad student at the University of Michigan and then obtained my masters from the University of Massachusetts. I then went back to the University of Michigan for my Master’s degree in Education.

I am eager to get back to teaching. I only taught for a year before I had children and then worked more of a traditional “9 to 5” position supporting college students at the University of Michigan for 12 years. 

I missed the direct contact/service of teaching and especially working with young children, hence my return. I am married and have two smart and beautiful young girls who can’t wait to help me set up my classroom and meet my students.

I was able to fill the void of working in a school through my own kids and my volunteer activities with young kids at my church. 

What do you like about Ivywood the most so far?

Ivywood’s classical education model is inspiring and it gets back to the joy of both teaching and learning. It encourages the study of great literature, music, art, history, government, language and a strong education in the humanities, which I believe is a very well-rounded education. 

What is one of the virtues that you want to instill in your students?  

I think one of the greatest virtues I want to instill in my students is perseverance. It’s so easy to give up when things get hard, but good things rarely come easy. I want them to have the attitude of ‘If I keep working hard, I’ll get it eventually.’ Plenty of positive reinforcement for baby steps achieved along the way is the plan. 

What is your teaching style like?

I think my students will find me kind but firm, serious but also silly. Most importantly, they will see that I love to teach and am excited when they learn. 

What do you do for fun and outside of the classroom?

My hobbies are spending time with my family, friends, church and when time allows, attending plays, musicals, concerts, the symphony, traveling.