I am a Primary Montessori Assistant at a Public Charter Montessori School. This my first experience in an AMI certified Program and I’m becoming a dedicated Montessorian. I’m a contemplative person, so I decided to create this site to record my thoughts. In doing so I hope to be able to look back on the changes in my thoughts over time, but also to share my experiences with others and to receive their thoughts.
I’ve spent my whole life in the public school system, and never felt as though it was adequate to prepare me for life. I won’t say it was inadequate to prepare me for the ‘real world’ because that implies that children aren’t apart of the real world. Children draw value from learning to regulate themselves, engage with others, and to question the effects of their actions.
These skills are impactful to humans at each stage of their lives. These skills are lacking from many traditional public schools in the United States.
After graduating from a public high school in my native New England city with a 3.9-grade point average, I was longing for new people and new experiences. I was granted a scholarship to a Private Historically Black University and gleefully attended. Once at college, I was challenged beyond belief, by everything except the coursework. I realized prior to college I was only expected regurgitate information then move on to the next class. This was the first time I was expected to regulate myself, engage with others, and question the effects of my actions. Much to the dismay of myself and my parents, it took time for me to learn those skills.
My GPA fell so low that I lost my scholarship and transferred to a local Community College my sophomore year. I was disappointed in myself and confused as to what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to find a career that involved me contributing to society. My professor of Lifespan Development was a former preschool teacher. She spoke with such passion when discussing the support young children need, and the side effects of them not receiving support. One day after class I asked her what I can do to learn more about children and to help them succeed in life. She invited me to a National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference and opened the door to my enlightenment.
To be honest, I always thought preschool teachers just entertained children with crayons and songs until they were old enough for ‘real’ school. I had no idea that educating young children was a craft and something to be cherished within society.
The following semester I took courses on Infant & Child Development and Early Childhood Education. Another one of my professors invited me to attend meetings with a local coalition that advocates for the rights of young children. She also invited me to a conference on racial biases within preschools. I was angered to learn that Black children are being expelled from preschools at an alarming rate.
That brought to mind memories of many of my friends being expelled from multiple schools and how that neither improved their behavior or academic performance. I thought of the social-emotional effects that expulsion from preschool could have on a developing psyche.
From that point on, I knew that my contribution to society would involve developing high-quality early childhood programs.
Being apart of a Montessori school allows me to guide the next generation of children along a path of independence, confidence, and self-accountability. Being a part of a public Montessori school allows me to provide this experience to children who would not be able to access it otherwise. Every day I’m working to create a more peaceful and cohesive society. I have found my place. I have found my joy.