I am one of those people that is always on the look out for personal and educational development, and one of my most important decisions I have made so far was my decision to study the Montessori Method.
The MCI Early Years Educator diploma in Montessori Pedagogy for children up to seven years old has given me the opportunity to discover the world of child development, the Montessori curriculum, and to develop skills needed in order to work in a Montessori classroom. Furthermore, the online platform of the course was well organised and resourceful as it included all the course materials such as theoretical subjects, short videos, quizzes, online books, and journals. Additionally, part of the online platform was the forum where all the students could share ideas with each other. While being on a distance-learning program, it felt as though I was amongst others in a classroom, sharing ideas and giving and receiving constructive criticism.
An aspect of the course was the Professional Placement. These 420 hours helped me grow the most because it gave me the opportunity to develop skills required in the Montessori environment with children. The most important part of this placement was the support of my experienced and qualified mentor and tutor as both of them were supporting my personal and professional development. For example, my tutor’s feedbacks were based on observations in the setting where I was practising and helped me to improve areas that needed in order to develop my practice when working with young children. On the other hand, my mentor was working alongside me on a daily basis and she was providing me with weekly feedback and advice for anything I may had found difficult. Additionally, the placement developed my awareness of how to work collaboratively with other people such as teachers, parents and other students as this is part of creating individual understanding towards each child. Thus, it is important to respect, to share ideas and to work positively with other teachers and parents in order to support children. Also, during the professional placement I had the opportunity to develop my own positive role-model, self-awareness, and social awareness as these are the keys to successful Montessori practice. Moreover, during the placement I had the opportunity to carry out the teaching cycle of “observe, plan, implement, reflect and assess” children’s learning. All these are necessary for teachers that work in the early years settings because they will understand each child’s current interests and needs. Finally, during the professional placement I had the opportunity to develop my awareness of supporting children’s well-being such as health and safety, security, risk management, recordkeeping, safeguarding and welfare.
Once I received my diploma in Montessori Pedagogy I started to work at the Little Gems Montessori in Nicosia as an Assistant Montessori Teacher and I believe that my previous experiences from the Apparatus Workshop and the placement helped me to feel confident and prepared in my current job. I believe that my decision to study the Montessori Education was the best because from the first day I feel confidence and joy to work in this environment. The reason is because I believe that this method is one of the best for our children because they are the future and the Montessori approach supports them as active learners, respecting their inner life, trusting their inner motivation, providing freedom within limits, and encouraging their inner discipline.
Anna is the Assistant Montessori Teacher in the Topaz classroom at Little Gems Montessori Nicosia, where she works closely with Elena & Carola. Anna graduated from MCI with an EYE Diploma in 2016 www.montessori.org.uk