I first learned about Montessori when my sister’s children started going to Montessori about 22 years ago. However, it was a number of years later that I started working in Montessori. I started with 3-6 children, but now I have been teaching 6-9-year-olds for several years.
It is difficult to recall what first caught my interest in Montessori, maybe it was watching my nieces and nephews being independent at home. What I do remember is that whenever I was doing any training, I wished there had been the opportunity for me to have this type of schooling when I grew up. Maybe I would have been better at maths and more interested in school in general.
I have a Montessori 3-6 diploma from London Montessori Centre and worked for four years in a Montessori preschool. I then spent three years at university getting my state primary qualifications with the intention of teaching in a Montessori classroom when I graduated. In 2003 and 2004 I travelled to New York and completed an American Montessori Society Diploma for 6-9-year-olds, and I have taught this age group for the last seven years.
What I love about Montessori are the ‘aha moments’ that the children have when they suddenly realise something. I like that I don’t have to be the bearer of all knowledge, that the children can seek help from each other, and that I can also ask them for help. I like that I can take the time to sit and observe children. I like that I can be giving a lesson and the rest of the class are getting on with what they have chosen to do. I like it that sometimes when I go to give a lesson, the child says ‘another child has already given me that lesson.’
It is fantastic that children can learn independently and be so collaborative together.