When I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in education (pre-k through second grade) and a minor in special education, I knew I wanted to start in preschool. I saw the utter importance of the early years of life, and how strongly it impacts who we are for the rest of our lives. So, I figured if there was going to be one way I could affect the world positively, it would be through guiding children – not just in education but in preparing them for the world.
After some searching, I ended up receiving a position as an assistant teacher in a Montessori pre-k. There, I received just a glimpse of Maria Montessori’s approach; and I immediately knew I wanted to continue to learn more. I ended up moving on to the Montessori school I have been working at for the past five years.
Here, I fell in love with the Montessori pedagogy. Many of my colleagues had been through training. Over the years, I learned all about Maria Montessori, her dedication to children and education and all the brilliant discoveries and creations she made.
In 2017, I was invited to be sponsored and sent to complete a 3-summer course in Montessori training a few states away. It was a big commitment, three years away from family, the man I love, pets, the children at school; my life. But I knew what this training was offering me; a life changing experience, a transformation, a new understanding of the development of the human being. Most of all, I knew that this would be my opportunity to not only know how to be when in the presence of a child, but I was being given the opportunity to fully understand why I was to be this way and learn about all the science and observation that lead Maria Montessori to make these discoveries.
During the summers of 2017 and 2018, I endured many hours of studying, writing, drawing, reading, listening, watching. I learned SO much; and it has been everything I have hoped for. It has been a life changing experience, an insight on a new way of being, and it has given me the keys I need to do just what I have hoped to do – make the world a better place, one child at a time.
After completing my second summer of training, I returned home to the devastating news that the school I had been guiding at for the past five years was scheduled to close. Over all, I was upset that my time with the children was coming to an unnatural halt, and that we would not get to finish our time together in our environment.
I soon found out that my sponsorship was going to be dropped. With only one summer of training left: 4 weeks entailing review, testing, and graduation; I know I must do whatever it takes to get there. Unfortunately, this couldn’t happen at a worse time financially. But isn’t that always how it happens? My fiancé and I have been saving over the last few years for this upcoming year, we plan to get married and move into a house to start our lives as a family together.
Although I am so grateful for the experience I have been given and the opportunity, I am not sure how I am going to make this upcoming year work. As of January 1, I will be looking for a new position at a new school. I will have to budget not only taking off 4 weeks without pay, but for the tuition, travel and living costs. Tuition for the summer is $3,000. An additional $2,000 would cover living expenses for four weeks (rent, travel, food).
I appreciate any help that will allow me to continue my training so that I may graduate with my AMI degree next summer. I want to be the change I wish to see in the world, and your support will allow me to do so. Thank you for your time.
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