What is Montessori?
This is a question that has so many beautiful, deep, powerful answers.
First of all, I was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, so my first language is Spanish and tonight, I am stepping out of my comfort zone because I felt in my heart that this message should be in English. Hope you can treasure my words and feel the loving energy that I am sending.
Montessori is a method of education, a philosophy, a lifestyle. Here is a little bit of history to set the scenario:
Dr. Maria Montessori was from Chiaravalle, Italy, a physician, professor, intellectual, educator, wrote many many books on scientific pedagogy. She opened the first Montessori school: The Casa dei Bambini in Rome on January 6, 1907. When she graduated medical school in 1896, she was among Italy’s first female physicians! I find this fascinating!
This is a paragraph from her biography shared in http://www.AmericanMontessoriSociety.com
“She was an innovator, a feminist and idealist.
In the years following, and for the rest of her life, Maria dedicated herself to advancing her child-centered approach to education. She lectured widely, wrote articles and books, and developed a program to prepare teachers in the Montessori Method. Through her efforts and the work of her followers, Montessori education was adopted worldwide.
As a public figure, Maria also campaigned vigorously on behalf of women’s rights. She wrote and spoke frequently on the need for greater opportunities for women, and was recognized in Italy and beyond as a leading feminist voice.
Maria Montessori pursued her ideals in turbulent times. Living through war and political upheaval inspired her to add peace education to the Montessori curriculum. But she could do little to avoid being ensnared in world events. Traveling in India in 1940 when hostilities between Italy and Great Britain broke out, she was forced to live in exile for the remainder of the war. There she took the opportunity to train teachers in her method.
At war’s end she returned to Europe, spending her final years in Amsterdam. She died peacefully, in a friend’s garden, on May 6, 1952.”
I have great admiration for this wonderful woman! When we moved to North Carolina from Puerto Rico five years ago, I was searching for my true calling, there where so many things that I liked to do with my life that it was hard to see clearly. I have a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations and Commercial Advertisement, but was not interested in pursuing a career in this subjects.
One day talking to my spiritual teacher, she said: “Think of something you are passionate about and love to do, even without getting paid” wow, this was a very deep question… a few second later, I knew the answer: Children! Working with children!
And my search for a school to work in began. I only sent one resume to one Montessori school and I was hired immediately, it was ment to be, without a doubt. My knowledge about Montessori came from my spiritual teacher, her daughter has been teaching for more than 15 years in the toddler house in Texas. Her stories about her daughter’s beautiful experiences as a guide for the little ones inspired me very much, there was a special spiritual connection that I felt with this method.
Also read amazing books that I recommend 100%:
•Montessori From The Start, The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen.
•Understanding the Human Being, The Importance of the First Three Years of Life by Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro, M.D.
•Montessori Parenting, Unveiling the Authentic Self by Dr. Jim and Sonnie MC Farland * my favorite!!!!
Montessori is a movement of learning, a way to honor the children and his natural abilities to learn and discover. There is vast information about this topic, incredible quotes, it’s hard for me to pick a favorite; I will share some at the end.
When I had my daughter, I had an inspiration of creating a Childrens clothing line based on Montessori elements, teachings and materials; this is how #Tribusai was born, because of my respect, love and passion for what Montessori is and how it aids the children’s development in every aspect of life. And this brings me to the reason I wrote this article, the first T-shirt I created was:
M is for Montessori, using the same colors that are used in the movil alphabet to teach children how to write. Pink for consonants and blue for vowels.
I would describe Montessori philosophy as: Love, respect and admiration for the child. Montessorians recognize the child as a complete being, and this is so important to me!
I invite you to read more about Montessori, soon our online store will be up and running and you can buy our shirts!
Enjoy some beautiful quotes from the Great Maria Montessori:
“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”
“Follow the child.”
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.”
“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”
“The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.”
“Of all things love is the most potent.”
Love & Light!
Raisa Espinet Batista