Welcome to my Montessori blog. I intend to share with you the story of my Montessori Journey that began in 1973 in Oxford, Ohio. I was a Master's student at Miami University at the time. I was working for the city's parks and recreation department for extra income as a graduate student. As the Arts and Crafts director of this city organization, I offered a Saturday arts program, and 30 children younger than 5 years of age showed up. I was clueless as to what to do, but it was apparent that parents of young children wanted activities for their young preschool-age children.
It was decided that we would start a program just for preschoolers. First it was an art program.. It slowly morphed into a preschool program which began with 36 children the first year and increased to 81 children with a waiting list the second year. Parents would stand in line for hours to sign their children up for the one and one half hour program. We offered three sessions a day with children being able to come two days a week, Monday-Thursday. I had Friday off from the work with little ones. I was also the Senior Citizens Supervisor for Parks and Rec Department so I met with the older generation every other Friday. I was also attending graduate classes during this time and working with school age children after school teaching various craft classes. My days were full!
The preschool sessions were based on the Montessori method. I was not trained in Montessori education at this time, but had studied the method extensively during a course on philosophies of education (See next blog.) . Montessori was not regarded well at the time by most of my university professors. Even my text books put the Montessori Method down. But the parents who registered their preschool children into the city Montessori program loved what we were doing, so our program thrived and I studied the Montessori method like mad!
Teri Canaday is the executive director of the Montessori Center. She has taught in the Early Childhood classroom for 17 years and was the elementary teacher for the past 6 years. She has been in Montessori education for 40 years. She shares her stories from her past experiences in this blog.