Elementary teacher: “I really wish I had had this education myself”

Pablo Gonzalvo graduated from the AMI Diploma 3-6 in and 2018 and AMI Diploma 6-12 in 2021 and is a Lead Teacher at the Maria Montessori School, he says:

I came to Montessori because a friend of mine suggested it as I was interested in working with children but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. So that was the beginning. I started off by taking an AMI Assistants Certificate 3-6 course. It was an opportunity to learn about the Montessori method. The approach and the teaching in Montessori is not the traditional way. We are used to children needing to learn topics by heart and it doesn’t matter if you like it or you don’t like it. In Montessori we still need to complete the curriculum but always in a way that captures the interests of the child. I think this is very positive for the child, the child doesn’t get rejected, they are not scared about taking the next step or failing, they know they have opportunities, they can work with other children, they can find books where they can explore new things they don’t know and things they are interested in. It is scary for adults to think that the children might not get all the curriculum or set knowledge or that they might not work hard by themselves but once you give the children the freedom and you trust them, it works. They can learn about animals, countries, space, anything they want, and they gain the knowledge and skills they need.

While still on the Assistants Certificate course I saw a vacancy for a classroom assistant and applied and was successful in getting the job, so I think I can say finding a job was quite easy as I got the first job I saw! While working as an assistant I then went on to take the AMI Diploma 3-6 as an evening course. However, in my job I was working mainly with Elementary (6-12 years) children, which made me really interested in this stage of development and this eventually led to me taking the AMI Diploma 6-12.

My experience of the Diploma course was very good. The trainers were exceptional – they frequently asked me how it was going and if there was anything I was struggling with. It was always great to speak with them one-to-one and they always offered good advice on particular areas of the course.

As students we became a great group of friends, and we supported each other, which helped us to succeed on the course. We spent a lot of time together and shared our experiences over dinner and lunch. Some of them went on to work in the same school as me and some of them went to other countries, but we keep in touch as much as we can.

On the course you learned everything from scratch – you learnt how to teach maths, how to teach language, how to teach music, how to teach social skills and how to present things to the children, all in the Montessori way.

I really like my job – being with children is always, always (almost always!) fun. It changes all the time. If there is something happening, they will come to you with their problems, you’ll deal with them and talk with them and see they are happy and then they can go back to their work. Every day is different – this is the part I like. Today is going to be an art lesson, tomorrow I’m going to sing with them, another day we will go to the library. This is what I like, it’s not every day is the same.

Montessori is summed up by one of the things I often hear from parents: “I really wish I had had this education myself.” I think it’s the feeling we all have. It’s the way the teachers approach the children, the independence the children get and all the socializing time they have together.

Become a qualified Montessori Elementary teacher for 6-12-year-olds with our AMI Diploma 6-12.