It all started after I graduated from college...
I was looking for a job in the newspaper and came across an ad for a French teacher at a Montessori school. I called the school and the director asked if I knew what Montessori was. I said no, but assumed it must be Catholic. She laughed and said she would explain Montessori to me when I came in for an interview.
Before my interview, the director asked me to observe in the elementary classroom. It was really wonderful. It was a huge room with just a few desks and no one was sitting at them. The children were scattered about the room working on rugs or floor tables doing different things either in small groups or individually. I was especially struck by a group of boys who were sitting around the iguana cage taking observation notes in their "field journals." It was delightful. The only odd thing was that I couldn't find the teacher. So many children (more than 20) all working hard and quietly, but no teacher to be found. Then I spotted her, way on the other end of the room, on the floor leading a small group activity. I kept regretting that I couldn't have gone to a school like this.
I worked there for a semester and was amazed at how quickly the children picked up French from me. Their appetite for language was insatiable. Everyday, they would come to me with a list of nouns and verbs they wanted to learn to say in French. In less than a month we were holding basic conversations in French. From the youngest preschooler to the eldest of the elementary children, I never ceased to be amazed at their self discipline, poise, and obsession with learning. It was all fun to them and as easy as breathing. They managed their time and academic freedom much better than most college students.
I left that school to take on a job that would pay my mountains of school debt. However, it was always in in my heart that one day I was going to get the Montessori training and open my own little Montessori school. More than 10 years later I took the plunge and attended the AMI Montessori Training for ages 0-6. It was an education that forever transformed me for the better. I thank God for it every day. I also completed a Master's in Education that honed my research skills with regards to providing optimal experiences for the most critical years of a persons life: ages 0-3.I taught and consulted internationally for 5 years bringing the joy of Montessori to families and schools.
And now I have my own little school! It's a small intimate environment that fosters a deep trust in children. That trust is the source of their self confidence and love. And that is the source of true friendship and lifelong learning.