I am a former Montessori child (from age 2-8 in Mexico City and San Diego, CA) who owes her privileged education to a mother who cared enough to question her own upbringing and research a more enlightened alternative, and a father who vowed, from the moment he saw his baby girl, to work as hard as he had to in a field he detested in order to be the best provider in the world.
When I grew up, I became a Human Resources trainer and recruiter for Hyatt hotels in Florida, and then enjoyed a four-year career as a successful self-employed wedding planner. I became sick of brides and their petty dramas (wouldn’t you?), and began to wonder about my purpose in this world. I sat down to meditate one day, and when I opened my eyes, my life was forever changed.
As I sat in my apartment, concentrating on my breath and contemplating my role in this world, my Soul told me that I was on this planet to give children the same amazing educational and formative opportunities that I enjoyed as a child. I heard a very clear voice say “Work with children“. My first thought when I opened my eyes was: “Children?? I don’t even like children!”
However, the crazy thought stayed in my head. A few days later, sitting in the hot tub with my then-boyfriend (now husband), I blurted out: “I want to work with children.” His response shocked me. “Go for it,” he said. “I will help you to pay for the training, just find the best school available.”
I didn’t even know where to start. I had fond – if faint – memories of my Montessori years (I vaguely remember being enamored with the smallest cube of the pink tower, and I had a fondness for land and water forms. From Elementary, I remember the beautiful geological timeline and the Geometry Box of Sticks); I also knew that those early life experiences helped make me into a resilient and generally optimistic adult. Other than that, I had no idea what Montessori even stood for, but I knew that I would only fit in with that philosophy because I generally disliked my school experience from the fourth grade onwards (even though I was a nerd).
Still following my gut, I went to the bookstore to see if I could find some information on my contemplated career path, and found only ONE copy of ONE Montessori-related title: “The Science Behind the Genius” by Angeline Lillard. It was waiting for me… Little did I know that this was THE book that validated Maria Montessori’s theories through the conclusions of modern scientific research. My curiosity and appreciation for children grew with every word I read.
I then went online to figure out where I could study to become a Montessori teacher and, as fate would have it, I found out that the most reputable (and the only internationally-accredited) training center in my city was within walking distance of our home.
At the age of 31, after a grueling year juggling my business and my studies, I obtained my AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) Primary certification and M.Ed. in Montessori Education, formed a close-knit group of soul mates who all “bleed it”, and discovered my true purpose in life – my calling.
I worked for two years as a head teacher in an AMI Primary classroom (for 2.5 – 6 year olds), where I joyfully guided a group of amazing little children as they discovered their potential. This was much easier said than done, but worth every stressful limit-enforcing, stomach-clenching, ability-doubting moment!
After two years in a life path I loved, I decided to go back to school to expand my knowledge of Montessori and obtain my Elementary certification. I’ll be living in Bergamo, Italy for one year and attending the International Center for Montessori Studies. What a truly blessed life I lead…
In this blog you’ll find the musings, rantings, and soapbox issues that my husband is tired of hearing about. I’m so glad I can share them with you! I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions… My journey of learning has only just begun, and nobody ever said the spiritual preparation of the adult would be easy!
“First remove the beam from your own eye and then you will see clearly how to remove the speck from the eye of the child”. – Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood