Monday, August 1, 2011

Montessori Journeys: Jessie

Today, the very talented and sweet Jessie of The Education of Ours shares her Montessori Journey. I'd love to me a kid in her household! It looks likes she's doing a great job as Mama and teacher. Read on to hear her story.

Jessie's Montessori Journey

As an undergrad, during my junior year as an education major, my state adopted a standardized testing policy for children that I did not agree with.  I longed to be a teacher, but not in that way.  I didn't want to teach to a test, or beg for my job over test results.  It just didn't jive with my beliefs, and I'm the kind of person who can't be happy if my ethics are challenged.  While discussing this with my Modern Dance professor (who later left the college to teach creative movement at a Montessori School), she brought up Montessori.  I was first attracted to Montessori for the lack of testing, no child in Montessori is asked a question in the 3rd period of a lesson right off that bat.  Then, I fell in love with the aesthetics of Montessori, then the Math.  Oh, how I love Montessori Math!  The philosophy of teaching where the student has some control is enlightening.  I hit the ground running, looking into how I would go about living this life.  After graduation, I kept teaching Ballet while researching Masters and Montessori Training Programs in my area.  I began as an assistant at a brand new school, with all brand new shiny materials.  I was awe struck, and met my closest teacher friends at my first teaching job. 

After a long struggle with infertility, I became pregnant during my AMS Training.  I was delighted to have my Montessori Training before I became a Mother.  I learned so much from training, I was totally prepared for motherhood, it was more valuable than any other degree I hold.  I always tell new mothers that an accredited Montessori Training is better than any book or parenting class in the world.  Right before the birth of my first daughter, now 5, I earned a Masters of Education for Montessori.  My thesis was on Montessori At Home (some life foreshadowing there!).  After that, I stayed home to be a full time Mother for three years and had two more babies.  I now work at an extremely supportive school in Providence, RI part time while 'afterschooling' my three daughters with the Montessori Method.  My girls don't attend a Montessori School for lack of options.  I'm happy for them to attend our town's fantastic public schools, and have a Montessori home, full of materials and experiences.