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Who ARE you people anyway?

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
The other day, I said I was going to post an intro about myself and I never did. I ended up just not being able to stay awake any longer (it was late at night).

My name is Matt Bronsil. I grew up in the AMS world pretty much - both my parents are Montessori teachers and teacher trainers. I have managed to grow up around some wonderful people as a result.

My path didn't take me into teaching right away - I eventually ended up working in computers. I was building computers for a company when 9/11 happened. After that, large businesses did not invest in computers for a while and the company I worked for did not have enough orders to keep such a large staff. I got laid off. That is how I got into Montessori.

I am now currently teach in Taiwan and continually dive into Montessori reading and studying. I crave it. :

With that said, I am curious who you are. Let me know. I love getting to know more Montessori people.

Matt
post #2 of 52
I went to an AMS school for their primary program and one year of lower elementary. I am a certified public secondary school teacher (Latin and English) When I went to look for schools for my kids I looked into Sudbury, Waldorf and Montessori and Montessori seemed the best fit. I walked into the school and pretty much fell in love and my "don't you dare be out of my sight" son loves it too. I knew my daughter would do fine - she is much more independent - but I was pleasantly surprised how easily he had taken to it.
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Glad to hear it is working out.
post #4 of 52
Well, I have no Montessori background myself, I went to public school where my mom was a Kindergarten teacher most of my life. She retired 2 years ago - she taught K a lot more like Montessori is taught though than some folks are teaching it now (like mini 1st grade).

I had read great things about Montessori when DD was a baby and when we moved here I heard great things about the M school in my town. I am a fairly intelligent person, but I always did mediocre in school, I was the kid who didn't fully 'apply' themselves, etc. I remember being told in Elementary school that I would have to be kept in from recess for things like not finishing my worksheet. I was a voracious reader and math has always just clicked for me, I think ultimately I was bored by the classroom. I'm by no means 'gifted' but the style of teaching just did not suit me. Once I left school and learning was something I did only for myself I rediscovered my love for it. Especially when it came down to learning how to best care for babies, then children and various different philosophies, etc.

DD might as well be my clone. I think she got my MILs teeth, but other than that, she looks exactly like me, and has the same personality. The same quirks my mother said I had when I was 4 - DD has them. So know her so well as I know myself, I knew Montessori would fit her perfectly and it has - we are halfway through our second year and thrilled. She is doing amazing. I do not want to have to put her in public school and we've discussed keeping her in at least through 3rd (which is as far as our M school goes now, though they want to do upper el)

I have been roped into being the President of the Parent's org for my M school. I don't mind volunteering, but its frustrating as we seem to have a very busy or less than enthusiastic parent community.
post #5 of 52
My turn? Ok, I went to pretty standard public schools as a kid. When I was about 13 I started to get really bored and disillusioned. I felt like I was a number and that I learned more at home reading books than in the classroom. My parents found a me a cool (not M) high school that was very individualized, small (40 kids), creative, and run by people who liked to take us out in to the world. When ds was born, I couldn't imagine him in public school. Oh, did I mention that I'm a public school teacher? I teach English to English Learners, grades 6-8 at a big, rowdy public middle school. I'm very turned off by the emphasis on standardized testing and how every educational desicion we make at my school is driven by our need to raise test scores. We have a little M school in town. Ages 2-15, just 40 kids total. I wasn't completely sold on the school just because it was Montessori. Really, had it been Waldorf, or anything else, I probably would have gone for it just because it was small, creative, happy, etc. But, it turns out that Montessori is a good fit for my self-conscious, careful little guy. The downside is that the school only has two teachers and, though I like the director, we do have our battles. Ds has been in Montessori for 1.5 years now. We plan to keep him there as long as he is happy and growing.

Are you from Taiwan?
post #6 of 52
I'm Jen and I have three children - two boys (9 and 8) and then Teagan who is almost 5.

I have done Montessori with all my children, the boys though only through the 2nd primary year. Both were diagnosed with autism and unfortunately where we lived, the Montessori's couldn't handle the diagnosis. They have gone into public school where they are now being pulled and home schooled, Montessori style.

Teagan has been in Montessori since she turned 2 and we plan to keep her in one at least through the Elementary years. We will reassess after that time to figure out where to go from there, with her input of course.

Right now she is getting ready for her last Primary year, the big "Kindergarten" year - she is one excited girl to be at the top of her class age wise. As in another post, we are on the hunt for the perfect Elementary program to continue with.

Montessori is very important to me because I feel children are naturally visual learners and they need to be given the freedom to discover the world around them, gain confidence in their abilities and have the love of learning. I am NOT a supporter of standardized tests, mass amounts of homework, etc. that the public system provides (thus the reason for home schooling the boys).... Montessori has given us and our children everything we have hoped for.
post #7 of 52
I went to public school as a child and have fond memories of my elementary years. Middle and High school was pointless and I just remember hating being tied to a desk all day, copying notes, memorizing, and just barely scraping by with a B or C (putting in a *LOT* of study time). I am the mommy to 3 little girls (ages 3, 2, and 1) and knew I wanted something better for them. I have looked at every type of school - Waldorf, Co-op, Reggio, play based, School district preschool (which is actually a GREAT program), state preschool, Head Start (my girls were/are all in the Early Head Start home based program), and structured mommy groups (for socializing). They pretty much all had major problems and then I started looking into Montessori. For some reason, I put this off thinking that we could never afford it. I recently lucked out and found an INCREDIBLE school for my 3 year old and her first day was yesterday! She did fantastic and I am madly in love with the way this school is run and the personalities of the teachers. They are incredible people and they are teaching TRUE Montessori (they are all AMS trained and the owner belongs to AMI, but the school isn't affiliated with either).

Quote:
Montessori is very important to me because I feel children are naturally visual learners and they need to be given the freedom to discover the world around them, gain confidence in their abilities and have the love of learning. I am NOT a supporter of standardized tests, mass amounts of homework, etc. that the public system provides (thus the reason for home schooling the boys).... Montessori has given us and our children everything we have hoped for.
:
post #8 of 52
I taught at a Montessori preschool. Although I can't afford to send my child to a Montessori school, I do like to have some Montessori materials around. Plus, I support my son to learn at his own pace and to respect others.
post #9 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post

Are you from Taiwan?
I'm living in Taiwan. I am from Cincinnati. I've been in Taiwan for a year and a half.

Thanks to everyone who is posting their stories. I have read each one. Keep them coming

Matt
post #10 of 52
I'm Karen, first-time Montessori mom. My oldest son, age 3, was just accepted to Montessori school and he will begin attending in fall. I'm going through the school handbook and tuition contract now.

I've enjoyed reading "A parent's guide to the Montesssori classroom" by Aline D. Wolf and am currently looking at "Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius".

I'm excited about trying Montessori and hope it's wonderful for our son. I have some anxieties about how everything will work out and how my son will respond to the structured environment, but we're optimistic that it will go well.

Added: I am particularly interested in M because I believe in individualized education experiences and because I have boys, I very much want them to have freedom and flexibility in their education. I especially like that they will be free to move around the classroom and not be forced to sit often.
post #11 of 52
Like the PP, my son will start M in the fall. He turned three in January. I also have a younger son who is 7 months.

My mom is a librarian at a local M school that is preschool-8 grade. Not the one we're going too though (it's super expensive, requires full day for 4 yos, and I just don't like it as much as the one I chose). I talked to her a lot before choosing M for my son since she knows a ton about it and she knows my son and she felt it was a good match (as do I).

I went to public school K-12. I liked grade school, but by jr high and high school I felt like I was wasting my time most days. My dh felt the same way about school. I don't want that for my children. I'm not sure if we'll be able to afford to continue M beyond kindergarten, and if not I will most likely homeschool. I feel that a lot of M philosophy will yield well to homeschooling and prepare him.
post #12 of 52
Hello!

I did my Internation Diploma in '94 and worked in a Montessori day nursery for 7 years. Wanted to work in a school but had a dd I needed to have in daycare and couldn't afford to work in a different school. Carrying on past 4yrs for her wasn't practical financially

dd2 goes to the same nursery as dd1 went to and is loving it so far though is only in the baby room at the moment! I am now a primary school teacher (mainstream) but there's a lot of my Montessori training in my teaching style! I'd like to think our home and parenting approach is quite Montessori - but I know there's stuff we do that would make MM turn in her grave!
post #13 of 52
I am a 2 time Montessori mom--dd2 is on three waiting lists for Montessori el (she is in her 4th preprimary year) and DD1 did 4 preprimary years as well and was in a Montessori elementary through 6th grade.

DH and I both endured 13 years of parochial school and absolutlely hated it and spent hours watching the clock slowly slowly move towards 3:15.....enduring memories of endless long division worksheets (for four years in a row!!) and copying paragraphs from really bad textbooks into notebooks prompted us to embrace progressive education, and here in Cleveland, Montessori is the only choice---we don't have Waldorf or Reggio or Sudbury here, just test-prep public, test-prep charters, parochial, totally expensive and really high pressure "independent" schools, and private Montessori.

So we ended up in Montessori, and we love it. I am on the board of DD2's Montessori preschool and am working on a "Year Round All Day Community" which will begin enrolling children in June (as a working mama, my one beef with Montessori is the dearth of good programming for all day kids, our school has 150 kids, of whom exactly 16 have working mamas, thus propogating the "Spa" myth of Montessori as an elitist experience for the affluent ONLY).

Please tell me that in Taiwan, Montessori is NOT only for part time (morning work cycle only) kids!!
post #14 of 52
I am a brand new (just a few weeks) Montessori mom. I have four children 16, 10, almost 3 and 5 months. I have always homeschooled until my oldest went to 8th grade a couple years ago. She attends a public charter high school that suits her very well. My 10yo is homeschooled and loves it. My almost 3yo is another child entirely. We were doing pretty well until his sister came along and changed his world. We have really been struggling the past few months mainly because he is bored.

We started thinking about M schools (I believe in the philosophy) and got a lead on a small M preschool that is a perfect fit for him. This is his 3rd week and it will be his first full week. He has had a couple meltdowns when my dh drops him off but they stop instantly and he goes on to have a great day. He even went in underwear today which is a HUGE step for him.

I can't believe how this all worked out. I LOVE the place and the teachers and the attendance is low for now which is perfect for him to get started. I have a feeling he is really going to thrive there. His behavior has turned around 180 degrees at home. He was constantly attacking his 10yo brother and that has basically stopped. It all just proves to me that each child has their own needs and by following them I can help each of my children flourish in their own way.
Wendi
post #15 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkm1968 View Post
here in Cleveland, Montessori is the only choice
Cleveland, Ohio?

Drew Carry's hometown?

If so, ask around and see who knows Martha McDermott. She got Montessori started there back in the 1960's. She taught at Xavier University for years and I think she's still in Cincinnati. It's been a while since I kept up on that. One of the most fantastic ladies I have ever met.

Quote:

So we ended up in Montessori, and we love it. I am on the board of DD2's Montessori preschool and am working on a "Year Round All Day Community" which will begin enrolling children in June (as a working mama, my one beef with Montessori is the dearth of good programming for all day kids, our school has 150 kids, of whom exactly 16 have working mamas, thus propogating the "Spa" myth of Montessori as an elitist experience for the affluent ONLY).
In case you haven't heard, it's also "ONLY" for the poor people, brilliant children, special needs children, children who are self-motivated, children that can read, children that can't read, well-behaved children, obnoxious children, children that thrive in structure, children that can handle having no structure, children that don't like to play, and children that only want to play all day.

Yeah...we get all the stereotypes. Must mean we're fantastic for all children ;-).

Quote:
Please tell me that in Taiwan, Montessori is NOT only for part time (morning work cycle only) kids!!
No, but here we do have an opposite extreme of several parents that work too much.

Elementary is afternoon only. They have to go to the public schools in the morning. It really sets up its own set of challenges and I would love to see how Montessori schools handle it. Then they have so much homework that parents do not want them to do the Montessori stuff - they want a person sitting in a room full of children making sure they do their homework.

It is becoming more established here, thankfully. Montessori schools are now looking at plans on how to get Montessori into the public school here. Not an easy task by anyone's imagination.

Matt
post #16 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lactivist View Post
It all just proves to me that each child has their own needs and by following them I can help each of my children flourish in their own way.
Wendi
Can Montessori be summed up any better than that line? Me thinketh not.
post #17 of 52
I have to come out of lurkdom for this thread! Going off your last name, Matt, I have heard your mother speak and she was amazing. I loved listening to her not just for her information on Montessori, but her parenting insights as well.

Okay, I will write up an intro as well since I am here! I was introduced to Montessori in college where several of my friends majored in Montessori education for both undergrad and graduate degrees. What they told me and what I saw about the philosophy stuck with me when I began researching preschools for my son, so I visited a few Montessori schools in the area (and there are a lot). I was blown away by what I saw at one school and knew I had to send my son there. The classrooms are amazing and the grounds surrounding the school are just as spectacular. He is now in his 3rd year (Kindergarten) and my 3 yo started this past fall. They are flourishing in the environment and we plan on sending them through the sixth grade. Not sure what to do beyond that, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.
post #18 of 52
I fell in love with Montessori 6 years ago. My children are now in upper el and lower el classrooms. We have moved a lot and it has always been a comfort to my kids that whether in america or overseas when they walk into a montessori classroom it is home to them.

we are now planting roots in tucson AZ and for the first time getting our kids a FREE education at a Montessori charter school! YEAH!!!!

My 9yo will be taking her first real test ever in april (those standardized tests? or something?) I am not worried at all. Montessori has been enriching not only to my children but to myself and DH as well. as our kids have gotten older, we now gloat over the "no homework" policy!
post #19 of 52
I trained at an AMI training school to teach 3-6 yr olds. I taught for five years, but felt I didn't have time to do other things that were important to me, and so left the job, even though I loved it. It was the the most gratifying job I've ever had, but also the most demanding, energy-wise. (I was also sick of school politics.) That was 13 years ago and since then I have worked as a sub at a few Montessori schools in my city. Now my first child is 1, and I'm suddenly having a resurgent interest in Montessori and thinking back fondly on my experience in the classroom. I'm looking into the options and really wishing we had Montessori charter schools here. I'm also indulging in a long-time fantasy of starting the "ideal", one-classroom Montessori school, free from blech bureaucracy.
post #20 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xumom View Post
I have to come out of lurkdom for this thread! Going off your last name, Matt, I have heard your mother speak and she was amazing. I loved listening to her not just for her information on Montessori, but her parenting insights as well.
If it helps any, I was the most trying child she talked about. LOL

I love listening to my mom talk about her experiences. I used to wish she would stop talking about my brother and me. Now that he has 2 kids and they're the focus of what she talks about, I'm jealous.

Your name is xumom. Are you from Cincinnati? Do you go to Xavier? Do your children go to Xavier? What's the connection to "XU?" (Just an assumption that it's Xavier)

If you don't want to answer, that's fine. If you want to answer in Private Message, that's fine too. Just curious.

Quote:
Okay, I will write up an intro as well since I am here! I was introduced to Montessori in college where several of my friends majored in Montessori education for both undergrad and graduate degrees. What they told me and what I saw about the philosophy stuck with me when I began researching preschools for my son, so I visited a few Montessori schools in the area (and there are a lot). I was blown away by what I saw at one school and knew I had to send my son there. The classrooms are amazing and the grounds surrounding the school are just as spectacular. He is now in his 3rd year (Kindergarten) and my 3 yo started this past fall. They are flourishing in the environment and we plan on sending them through the sixth grade. Not sure what to do beyond that, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.

You have time to figure it out. Chances are, his friends will be going somewhere and that may decide where to send your child. You'll have to work that out when the time comes.

Until then, I'm glad to hear you found a great school.

Matt
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