My, How Things Have Changed

My name is Vanessa and I am a Montessori Assistant in Washington, D.C. Montessori is an educational theory in which children are allowed to learn by following their interests which in turn leads to them being naturally motivated to learn new things and practice skills until mastery. Learning is individualized so each child follows their own path to learn different skills, such as focus, memory, sensory acuity, counting, reading, writing, and operational math, biology, geography and more. Authentic Montessori classrooms have a mix of children within a 3 year age range. Each classroom is overseen by a certified Guide, a role which is somewhat comparable to a lead or head teacher in a traditional school. 

I haven’t posted much in the past few months because so much has changed and I was looking for the courage to write again. Well, I’ve found it.

For the 2018-2019 school year, I happily accepted a position at a Public Charter Montessori School in Washington, D.C. After becoming entrenched in the difficulties of carrying out a high fidelity Montessori program, on an ever-tightening budget, I realized this school was not going in a direction that I wanted to follow. As I would tell my students, if what you’re doing doesn’t make you feel good, let’s find something else that will. So I made the leap to leave the school before the end of the school year.

About Me

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.

My Montessori School

My Montessori School is a public charter school in its third year of existence.  As a starter school, we are building our classrooms as our students grow in age. We currently have about 200 students within our Primary and Lower Elementary classrooms, and we have plans to add upper elementary classrooms.

Like most urban Public and Public Charter Schools, we offer before care, aftercare, and inclusion for our special needs students. What sets my school apart is our deep commitment to equity. All members of our staff are dedicated to giving every child and family what they need in order to have a positive and enriching experience. Whether its providing interpreters for multi-lingual families or maintaining a stockpile of donated clothing so every child has access to a change of clothes when needed, we do what we need to in order to make everyone who enters our doors feel comfortable.

And that makes my Montessori School a special place.

-Naomi