The first time I walked into a Montessori classroom I was 20 years old looking for a ‘job with children”.  I had held many jobs prior, all related to kids, but NOTHING like this.  As I walked up to the “school” I marveled at the 2 cottages that had been turned into classrooms. It looked so warm and home-like. Inside the doors there were many children (30 in all, ages 2.5-6 years old)  There were a dozen low shelves made of natural wood that held all sorts of “work” (as the children called them).  The children were each busy with their own task, some alone and some in groups.  There was a feeling of love and peace in the room.  The children were all happy.  I was amazed!  I knew right then that I found my calling.

A few years later I found myself in Portland, Oregon where there happened to be an AMI training center for Montessori teachers.  I jumped at the chance, took the one-year intensive training and emerged as a Montessori guide.

Montessori Institute Northwest, Portland Or

Upon graduation I went right to work in the “casa” (Childrens house for ages 3-6).

When my daughter was born I was eager for her to reach the age where she could participate in this community of children.  Like every parent I wanted her to learn all the basics of reading, writing, mathematics, geometry, botany, and geography.  YES, the Montessori classroom actually teaches all this and much, much more!  However, what I was really eager for was for her to experience all the social and character building moments of the casa.

In the Montessori classroom children are peaceful, respectful, happy, friendly, compassionate, loving, the list goes on and on.  I think that this comes from the guidance of the adult but also from the heart of the fulfilled child.  A child who can make choices for themselves, who is encouraged to be independent, allowed to make mistakes and self correct them, a child who is lead to the edge of discovery but NEVER told the answer instead allowed to reveal it ALL BY THEMSELVES.  This child who watches other children do things they can not yet do and is okay with it.  Knowing that one day “I can do it too!”  A child who helps another with a task WITHOUT being asked.

My daughter got all of this and more.  AND… she still has it!  She is now 8 years old and is totally OKAY with what she can and can not do.  She does not feel the need to compete with her neighbor or friend.  She knows that, if she is persistent, one day she can do it too.  She is not easily flustered.  She knows from her experience in Montessori that if it doesn’t  turn out the way she likes we just do it again.  She is growing up with a great sense of respect for others as well as the world around her.  She knows that if something sparks her interest she can learn more and be in charge of her own education.

My daughter age 3


working with the zipper frame

My son has just entered the casa, I can already see the wheels turning…..

My son at work

I am so grateful for both of my children’s experience in the Montessori classroom, I know that it has (and will) make life long impressions!