It seems the education in this country isn’t getting any better, yet there is a constant: Montessori. Montessori is in at least 120 countries and this manifested itself best when I was on the Corvallis Montessori Society (CMS) board. Corvallis isn’t exactly an ethnically diverse town and take Oregon State University away and Corvallis might as well be renamed Anglo. I found that CMS had a lot of diversity, partially because of the open mindedness Montessori fosters and since the teaching around the world are congruent. The curiosity of learning that Montessori fosters creates a better community and really has made me a much better marketer.
So what did I learn while I was in Montessori? According to my title, everything, but let’s get more specific. My Montessori experience (although brief) has helped mold me into the person I am today in part because those were my first vivid memories growing up. Many years later I would join the Montessori board in my hometown of Corvallis. One of the requirement of sitting on board was doing classroom observations, which I loved. Since Montessori education has remained virtually unchanged for more than a century, it felt more like the Ghost of Christmas Past took me on a journey of my own past. To be honest, I was always nervous about these visits because when a Montessori child ask you a question, they truly were interested in how you crafted your answer. Learning was a privilege to them and curiosity; the catalyst.
Do you remember your first traumatic experience? I do! I bet millions of people share the same cause of their traumatic experience, but not the same reason. Kindergarten was a scary time and for many their first big social experience, so of course it is going to be traumatic. I was a VERY shy child and so this type of social experience scared learning out of me. The really traumatic part came from the transition from Montessori to public school. In Montessori, guides (teachers) fostered my shy curiosity and I was rewarded for the person I was, while in Kindergarten (RIP Mrs. Stone) I was rewarded if I followed everyone else. I am not saying the public school is terrible; the best teacher I ever had was Mr. Eldon, a public school 6th grade teacher. I got lucky, but so many don’t get lucky. Montessori, because of its structure, is much less of a crap shoot as the importance it put into the curiosity of one’s environment and less on the teacher. The teachers were called guides for a reason; they guided you to unlock your curiosity of learning and didn’t simply teach. Don’t get me wrong I do have a lot of appreciation for teachers as most of my family at one point in time were public school teachers (this is not the same as saying I am not racist because I have a black friend).
The majority of the work we do here at Brass Media, centers around creating engaging personal finance content to help the ADD generation find their love of learning in an entertaining fashion. The benefits of this content in social media can be seen in the conversations that are happening, instead of the majority of information that is best served behind a lectern. In the end I am not advocating that every child should attend Montessori, but as Maria Montessori once said, “We cannot create observers by saying “observe,” but by giving them the power and the means for this observation and these means are procured through education of the senses”