Witnessing my daughter's growth academically and socially is proving to be one of life's sweetest gifts. I couldn't be happier with the education she's receiving at her Montessori school. I must admit that the Montessori method is very different from "traditional" school in many ways. It's taken my husband a while to adjust to calling toys "works" and referring to the "playground" as the "nature inspired outdoor classroom." I, on the other hand, am a little more flexible and open to a "new" way of learning - new to us, but by no means new to the world.
I've volunteered to assist with prepping classroom materials and have attended all parent meetings. In fact, it was at one of these parent meetings that my passion for education was reignited and my perspective on learning forever changed...
The first parent orientation covered the Montessori philosophy and discussed ways parents can follow through on those philosophies at home. I was so excited to learn that we were already implementing many of the Montessori practices at home without even realizing it.
The second parent orientation broke down the Montessori curriculum, and this is where my passion for education was revived! I was so mesmerized by not only the unique learning materials, but equally intriguing was the methods by which the teachers guided the students to mastery of a given subject area. With each new "work" that the director explained and modeled for parents, my heart skipped a beat, the hairs on my arms stood at attention and that smile (a smile that I often broke into whenever teaching my "babies") graced my face for the first time in years!
Here was a method of teaching and learning that promoted active learning on behalf of the child, not passive learning. The teacher's job was not to shove information down kids' throats, but instead her job was to meet children where they were developmentally and seize grand learning opportunities in an individualized manner! YES! YES! YES! This is the kind of stuff I've lived for!
In the days and weeks following this parent meeting, I simply could not take my mind off of the Montessori method! I immediately researched ways I could become certified in teaching the Montessori method myself and of course, learn more about Dr. Maria Montessori. I purchased Dr. Montessori's book The Montessori Method. I also think I've found a very well-known and established certification program that will fit with my lifestyle.
And so my Montessori journey begins....