August is the time of year when teachers begin to plan, work and get ready for the year ahead. I am re-engaging in my Montessori Training, and getting ready to take on the role os Assistant in a Montessori classroom. My husband is helping me to carve out the time I need on Saturdays to write and work. So here I am, sitting in my basement office, creating the bones of an album and fleshing out the pieces to make it whole. Album 1: Philosophy. What is Montessori?
When I first began my training two years ago, I never imagined the journey that was beginning. The spiritual preparation of the teacher is something Montessori wrote often about in her books. But I didn’t realize that preparation would include becoming completely obsessed, then detaching from the obsession, and then reigniting the spark. But as any spiritual journey goes, there must be periods of complete faith, and periods of questioning and doubt. I return to this work now, having gone through both, with a healthy dose of each. I believe in the Montessori method as a wonderful way to inspire and ignite learning. I am wary of the tendency for the method to be taken too strictly into practice. I am weary of becoming obsessive with order and correctness. My hope for the continuation of this journey is to balance the beautiful ideals of Montessori, with a modern understanding of children and their needs.
I’ll be going in to help set-up the classroom soon. In the meantime, I’m creating job cards, writing papers, and studying for my philosophy exam. Not to mention balancing the role of mama to two young boys. These August days will be busy. And the rush of back to school will be in full swing in just a few short weeks. It’s been a few years since I have felt it. I find now that it feels more like a calm excitement, less of a frenzy. Maybe that has to do with age and experience, and the welcome realization that school is not life, that education happens without much effort, and that all will be as it needs to be without me having to force anything.
Here’s to a balanced year.
In March I began working at a little Montessori School close to home. I’ve written a few times about this big transition, going from fully self-employed, to fully not. It’s actually been wonderful. I loved running my business, I loved my clients and students, but it was a lot of effort, for not a whole lot of return financially. So, truth be told, it’s a lot easier to work for someone else, at least for the time being.
The thing that happened when I started working at the school, which I didn’t quite expect, was that I fell back in love with education. Many of you know I began my adult years/ career (I’m not a huge fan of that word) as an elementary school teacher. I loved every moment of my training to become a teacher, and then when I began working in the public school I quickly fell out of love. Quickly, and hard. I broke up with my job, saying “It’s not me, it’s YOU” and vowed that the work wasn’t for me. But the truth is, it is. Being a teacher is a deep calling for me. One that I never really gave up, but that has taken many forms on my journey.
Stepping into the Montessori classroom each day, feeling the ease and the lightness with which learning was taking place, witnessing the joy, and the love from teacher to student, I fell back in love myself. This is an educational practice I can get behind. This is a method in which I can be who I am, and teach the way my heart longs to teach.
So that’s what I’m doing. It’s a big part of what has consumed my time and attention these past months (and part of why I have been away from here). But now that I am back to writing, I figure I must share with you each and every part of me. Part of that whole being authentic thing which I talked about last time. In a few weeks I will be starting a Montessori Training program. I’d like to share my journey through this program with you. Right now I’m deep into the summer reading required before I start (by deep I mean I’m in deep trouble cause I don’t think I’ll ever get it done). Here’s a quote I came across last night that I enjoyed, and be on the lookout for more 🙂