Montessori us not just a curriculum, it is just a way of life. It is a way of parenting and a lifestyle choice that is becoming more popular with a modern day families. I see so often that parents parent the Montessori Way but have never had a name for it or labelled it. Meeting about 80 families a week has shown me that it is very easy to incorporate the Montessori way into households. Parents want their children to grow up to become the best version of themselves and the Montessori teaches lifestyle allows this to become a reality. Montessori teaches independence, self-discipline, self-control, self-correction and self-confidence. All of these skills are necessary for adulthood and for getting along with society as a whole.
Personally, I came across Montessori as I was fumbling through the end of my teenage years trying to decide what to do. After years of hating high school I knew I wanted to be a teacher to try to change the attitude to education in young people. After choosing to do a secondary school teaching bachelor in university (and lasting 9 months) I was lost. My preschool years were a happy time and my primary education was always fun in my head.
My home and family life were with many happy moments and memories and many great relationships were with my family and friends. Dad, who is an Aussie, moved to Ireland for love and my Mum always promised to him that their children would grow up knowing the Australian side of the family just as much as the Irish side. Geographically this was hard but every second year without fail we boarded a plane to Brisbane for 6 weeks. My Aussie relationships are as strong as my Irish ones and summers spent in Brisbane were always amazing!
My Brother and I never wanted for much but my parents always ensured that their amazing work ethics were passes on to us. My brother, who is two years older than me, is a very black and white, straight down the line person. He went straight from high school to university and then to work in an investment bank. There was no confusion in his brain about his career direction and I often felt jealous of his certainty.
My Mum is one of my biggest inspirations and my biggest fan and follow to date but when my Mum showed me the advertisement for the Montessori Diploma in Dublin I was extremely iffy about it. I had only briefly heard about Montessori and it had never entered my mind as a potential career.
At the time, I was volunteering in my local primary school with five year olds and the Principal and my Mum and convinced me to jump at the chance to begin the course. I enrolled in the course and after one hour in, I realised that this was exactly how I wanted education to be! I could clearly see the benefits and could hardly comprehend why this was not the standard way of teaching in the modern world.
My course lasted six months and was an intense course with a huge workload. It offered me 200 hours of work placement and I was so privileged to be working in the best Montessori preschool in my area. Every day I want to uni or went to school I came out more certain that this was the right path for me.
For the years that I worked in Montessori schools in Ireland. After a personal life change I decided I needed to reflect on life and decided to move 16,600 kilometers away to sunny Australia. I applied for my job in I AM Montessori and after a skype interview (in my pyjamas) decided to take the job. After 18 months working at I AM Montessori, I can honestly say that I have never looked back! If I had a Montessori childhood, I guarantee that my skill set as an adult would be completely different. I am very indecisive and lack self-confidence in my tasks and jobs. Always being told that I was a ‘good girl’ as a child (sorry Mum) has made me often require extrinsic praise for tasks completed in work and as an adult that is a challenge. Seeing children who are intrinsically rewarded is the best part of my role as a Montessori Educator and I know that this is something that as an adult I have had to overcome! However, without Maria Montessori I have no idea where my life would be at.
My aim as an educator and trainer is to try to make Montessori available to children from every economic background and I firmly believe that our future workforce and entrepreneurs will stem from Montessori children.