6th grade graduation from Montessori school meant sharing a facet of yourself. What was your talent? For me, I chose writing. I loved to write. I wrote constantly. I had even written a short story that my classmates jokingly told me I should turn into a play. So I wrote the play and starred in it and directed it. It was corny as hell. No one memorized their lines, so we were all reading from scripts. But we still put the whole thing together. All of the parents came to watch. It was recorded. (And I still have the videotape.) For my graduation piece, I wrote a reflection on my experience as a Montessori kid and how that was shaping my life.
Creative writing was snuffed out of me in my later years. Sure, we had some creative writing opportunities in high school. But so much more of the writing was research papers. And then in college, it got worse. But I always did well with it.
I also didn’t write when I was teaching, other than conference reports. At the school where I did my internship and then my first teaching position after that, we had packets that we used where we would use rubrics to demonstrate a child’s progress. And then we would write up a quick summary. The next school, where I spent 12 years, we had a much more detailed written summary of all facets of the child. I always used to joke that I felt parent-teacher conference time was like cramming all of those final papers in college.
When I moved to NY, I had a part-time job at a teacher store. When the owner retired, his kids had no desire to keep the family business going and they let it fail. So I found myself out of a part-time job. Someone told me to look online for writing jobs. I stumbled upon a website called Associated Content. Oh, the pride I felt when I had my first piece published. You could answer their requests for assignments, and be guaranteed payment, or come up with your own topics and maybe get upfront pay. All articles submitted earned you residuals based on the traffic your piece generated.
From there, I learned about other writing opportunities and found myself writing a lot on two other sites about Montessori education. I learned about social media and started posting on both Twitter and Facebook. I even had a dedicated Twitter account just for Montessori education and often joined in chats. I had a regular routine chat with some other Montessorians every morning. I even was offered a job in another state because of my Montessori conversations and writings. And I had started the original Montessori Writer website.
But then I got sick and had surgery. And then right after, my grandmother died. And then soon after that my mom went into a nursing home for Alzheimer’s. And then my dad got sick and died. All of this was within a 10-month period. I kind of lost my mojo for writing. And the online writing world was changing. My father had kept telling me to leave teaching and just write full-time, but I knew that wasn’t going to work quite yet. I needed to learn the changes in this evolving world and simply needed my head to be in the right space again.
So here we are about a decade later. I spent a lot of time this past year of the pandemic doing a lot of reading. I have found numerous new resources for us to use in Montessori. So I keep sharing them on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I’ve started making more notes about topics for me to write about. But it has been a tough year to try to get stuff done. And now I am sick again, which makes it even more interesting.
I do, however, still like to write. I did sign a contract for a short story that is being included in an upcoming anthology. I have written numerous drafts of numerous posts for Montessori and other topics for my other blogs. I continue to read and read and read and reflect on what I have learned. This year, I think you’re going to see a lot more coming from this Montessori Writer. And I welcome your suggestions and inquiries.