Sara Flanagan



How montessori came into my life

I was going for my first job interview, heading off with my degree in Early Childhood Education, to a small school called, “The Child’s Work Center.” The environment was beautiful and the materials were all child sized. There were no pretend kitchens or toys to play with. The two ladies who interviewed me were very nice, so I thought, “let’s listen and see what they have to say.”

As I sat and listened, they explained to me that The Child’s Work Center was a Montessori school. Having only a quick five-minute lecture on Maria Montessori, I had no idea what Montessori really was.

The classroom was set up in six different areas: practical life, sensorial, math, language, cultural, and arts.

The children ranged in age from 2.5 to 6 years of age with a full day of kindergarten. It was a three-year program. When you child started at age 2.5-3, they stayed with the same teacher for all three years. It was a beautiful thing! This structure allows for the teacher to become familiar with the child and their family, along with what areas they excel in and where they need help. By the time they are ready to move onto first grade, the teacher has a wonderful understanding of the child’s educational needs.

I fell in love with the Montessori method in 1979, the first year I started working at the school. I received my Montessori A.M. training in 1982. I also have four sons who all attended Montessori school.

Truly, you can read all the books on Montessori, listen to your friends talk about it — is it the right school? I heard it’s not structured! — but to observe a Montessori classroom will change your mind forever!