This was my entrance essay for the AMS Early Childhood Training, it gives a brief overview about why I chose to become a Montessorian.
I was introduced to the Montessori method as an older elementary age child, after spending K-4th grade in public school. My parents were working long hours and wanted to spend more quality family time together in the evenings. Montessori was an attractive option because it allowed us to complete all of our schoolwork during the school day so they did not have to chase after the homework assignments of four active children. I’m not sure they knew exactly what they were getting into, but over time our whole family fell in love with the program.
When I walked into Clear Lake Montessori School (CLMS) that first day, it was a departure from everything I was familiar with about school. The outside of the building was an unassuming strip center but the inside was strikingly beautiful. The room was open and airy and the walls were lined with shelves that held neat and inviting materials. I was surprised that there were no desks facing a chalkboard, all of the children were scattered around the room and each one was working with quiet focus at a table or a rug while the teacher attended to me. My first lesson was in classification. I watched as she carefully laid out an assortment of small objects on a rug, and I was tasked with organizing them so that each one had it’s own unique classification. I classified and re-classified those objects countless times that first day before I put the work away. This lesson was my introduction to taxonomy, and it was the most interested I had ever been in a school assignment.
The three years I spent at CLMS is time I still treasure and look back on with fond memories. When I re-entered the public school system, my mother had me tested to see where I should be placed. Though she chose to keep me in 8th grade with kids my age, I tested nearly 3 grade levels ahead of my peers in all subjects. It was the same for all of my brothers. I have a vivid memory of the transition back to public school, I tried to show my algebra teacher how to work out a square root problem she had given us by hand. Not only did she not know how to do it herself, she wasn’t interested that I could do it! That moment stayed with me, it was the first time I recognized that my time as a Montessori child was something special.
Life continued, I went on to graduate from high school and college, held a variety of jobs as most Millennials do, and I married my wonderful husband. When Will and I discussed starting a family, I told him I would love to put our children in a Montessori school so they could also experience having their innate spark of curiosity nurtured, and he was very supportive. After that brief conversation, I did some intense soul searching about what kind of career I wanted to pursue into motherhood. I reached out to my Montessori teacher from all of those years ago, and she gave me the information I needed to get started with the AMS Early Childhood training. I have thought of her often over the years, and I am thankful to have her as a mentor and a friend again. I want to be a Montessorian because I love the way Maria teaches us to respect the child’s spirit and guide them towards the adult they are going to become. I feel incredibly blessed that I got to experience that respect and love first hand when I was a child myself. Being involved with Montessori has already impacted my life in a beautiful and profound way, I am looking forward to exploring that to its fullest potential and being part of Dr. Montessori’s mission to form a new generation into well-rounded citizens of the world.