In Nicole Farmer's classroom at Asheville Primary School, games and floor time are a huge part of her student's education.
"We're a public school. All of the standards must be met, but I can tailor them to the needs of the particular child which is really refreshing," states Farmer.
A couple of years ago, the longtime teacher decided she needed a change.
"Sometimes when you're in a profession for a long time, it can be boring or it can feel like the same old same old," Farmer explains.
That change lead Farmer to Asheville Primary, a Montessori school, which emphasizes hands-on, collaborative learning.
Farmer says often the older kids help the younger ones learn.
Farmer adds she's also learning and enjoying this new way of teaching for her.
This is her second year at Asheville Primary.
"Working with children is something I've always loved, so that part has stayed the same, but now, I have new tools in which to do that."
Second-grader Iya enjoys helping the younger students and learning through playing games.
"I love doing works with my friends and we are usually very loud and have a lot of fun in the classroom," says Iya.
Meanwhile, classmate Jaxy enjoys the combination of work and play in Ms. Farmer's classroom.
"We get to do research, and we can play 'go fish' with our friends and do a lot of fun stuff," Jaxy explains.
"It's just a wonderfully tight community where we're all learning and growing together," adds Nicole Farmer.