Hi! I’m a newer Montessori guide (in the Montessori world, teachers are called ‘guides’).
Montessori education was started over 100 years ago by the first female physician in Rome, Dr. Maria Montessori. Her educational methods are used with infants, young children, school-aged children, and adolescents.
I have an Assistants to Infancy Montessori teaching certificate from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) . There are other agencies that spread Montessori, but AMI is Dr. Montessori’s original training heritage. If you have heard of AMS, the founder of AMS was originally AMI trained and broke off to manifest her own vision of Montessori. I can’t speak on any of the practices or training from AMS.
I have directed at least three full years of toddler classrooms so far. I have experience assisting in the nido, toddler, and primary programs.
I have a M.Ed (Masters in Education) from Loyola University, Maryland; a B.A.; and ECE credentials.
I hope to share my learning, enthusiasm, and tips about Montessori Assistants to Infancy realities; and perpetuate authentic information concerning Montessori heritage. I feel it ought to be someone’s duty to serve as an activist within our field and to tell people the whole truth, because the name “Montessori” is not patented. Literally anyone on earth who wants to can mimic the work of Dr. Montessori, mimic what they see on instagram, alter the approach, add their own spin on it, open up their own school or create their own website and blog, and call it Montessori– and these people can have zero formal training in this method whatsoever, or zero understanding about why we do what we do. That’s just how the cookie has crumbled I guess. What would Dr. Montessori think about all of this?
Parents and consumers of Montessori education, products, services, and websites have no idea if what they are paying for or seeing is even authentic Montessori. People are largely driven to seek out Montessori because it looks super beautiful and cute on social media (“shelfies”, they’re called), and somehow people know that if this name “Montessori” is involved, chances are higher that their child will learn good things and benefit developmentally in comparison to using traditional learning methods.
While this is absolutely true IF your source is legitimate, there are a ton of impostor, “montess-sorta” resources rampant in society, from schools to websites and blogs, to products. Even walmart now sells the moveable alphabet. Is it a good or bad thing that Montessori information and materials are seeping into everywhere? Even if there is no training behind it all paired with the stuff? I don’t know.
While it’s wonderful that Montessori materials are becoming more accessible, and I want to think Dr. Montessori would be pleased by the spread of access and information to her life’s work and vision, I wonder what she would think about people using her life’s work without a true sense of understanding.
Trying to DIY Montessori by looking on the internet is just mimicry at the end of the day. My goal is to do what I can to give people the truth, and to support the realities of Montessori infant/ toddler education without giving the method away verbatim. I hope my contribution can somehow help people have better discernment to know what is mimic-essori, and what is real Montessori.
If you wanted your child’s health improved, you wouldn’t seek out an untrained pediatrician. If you wanted your car repaired you wouldn’t go to an untrained mechanic. So if you want Montessori education for your child, it’s probably not the wisest to depend upon people who aren’t legitimate Montessori professionals. If you want to know what’s true, your best bet is to ask a trained Montessori professional, read Dr. Montessori’s books, or pursue Montessori training for yourself.
Because the world of Montessori has become so convoluted, and you never know what you’re going to get from any particular school, for educators, it can mean that there are some unexpected classroom struggles that all the AMI training in the world is powerless to reduce for practitioners. (I can’t speak on behalf of AMS as I am AMI trained). Just because you receive the AMI training by no means guarantees that you will experience the Montessori classroom guidelines delegated by AMI. So it is up to each of us AMI educators to seek out a professional path that is going to allow us to offer Montessori education and support children in the best way we can– without giving this heritage & method away to untrained people who may mimic and misunderstand the methodology.
People must ideally understand what they are supposed to be doing, when to do it, why to do it, and how to do it correctly. Montessori is not just wooden toys on shelves or on trays or in baskets. It’s a highly methodical approach to supporting another human life; so we must take care in how we both deliver and share this tradition. With freedom comes responsibility. Anyone now can share anything on the world wide web, true or false, accurate or not, with permission, or not. Technically on our diplomas it says we will not train other adults in the Montessori method, which is a privilege reserved for certified Montessori trainers only.
I hope my posts provide information, guidance, and support the realities of parents and other AMI trained Montessori professionals (especially for A to I) while working in the field of Montessori early childhood education. I hope my posts serve as a “companion guide” to enhance the method for people working in the field; as I will never just blatantly tell people how to implement the Montessori method through these posts.
I hope my posts shed light on some of the challenges people face trying to survive financially using preschool teaching as your livelihood. I hope I can provide ideas and share stories of my own discoveries and learning that can support other AMI A to I educators as well as preschool educators and caregivers. I hope to clarify information for people, and help Montessori enthusiasts understand the nature of Montessori education and information in an age where anyone has the freedom to use this name for their own purposes.
I am passionate and authentically care about helping babies, young children, and families connect and thrive using the Montessori method. Thanks for visiting my site!