Throughout my blog networking and sharing, I came across something called the Ultimate Blog Challenge for the month of August. The topic of the day was “Why do you do what you do?” Well, let me share my why.
As you probably remember, I am a Montessori child who attended from age 3 through 6th grade. I started working at a Montessori school when I was 18 as I pursued my education for early childhood, elementary, and special ed (as it was called then). After receiving my Montessori early childhood credential, I moved on to two more schools, working with that age group plus dabbling in administration, culminating in a total of 20 years.
Prior to leaving, I had already started writing articles for numerous websites and started a blog. I was very active on social media, having regular conversations about Montessori and education in general. Google Panda killed off the writing sites. Family deaths and illnesses put the brakes on the blogs and a lot of social media conversation. But my interest never waned.
Montessori is so deeply ingrained in me that I find it difficult when I see teachers and schools straying from the concept to fit a more elitist private school idea more defined by paying parents than actual philosophy. It’s a fun buzzword on the internet. People are attracted to its beauty and keywords and phrases, but don’t take the time to get to know its true meaning. No one ever copyrighted the name, so people readily toss it on anything to cash in on the trend. It makes me crazy. (And don’t get me started on “Montessori toys.”)
I am also an intense advocate for accommodating differently abled children in the classroom, an exhausting battle I constantly fought. I also always pushed for more diversity and inclusion, well before George Floyd really got us moving. But I also know I made mistakes. I can still learn more. I can do better. We all need to do better. Educators must constantly educate themselves in order to be able to better educate and advocate for their students.
An insatiable desire to learn and to be a better person pushes me to constantly read and learn something new every day. And I want all of you to also learn as much as you can. We may not always agree, but can learn through conversations and sharing of resources.
So this is my why. What is yours?