Traditional Teacher Retrains in Montessori

Stephanie Garrett trained as a Montessori Elementary teacher graduating with an AMI Diploma 6-12 in 2009. She says:

My decision to become a teacher came after art college and having children. I trained as a “traditional” teacher, gaining a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education). I taught in state primary schools in the Brighton area for 17 years. I chose to teach in disadvantaged areas as I felt that was where I could make the biggest difference. I taught many children whose hardships seemed overwhelming but for whom school was their sanctuary. I did a Masters in Education to further my understanding of child development and education and that is how Maria Montessori’s philosophy caught my attention.

My observations of children in mainstream education throughout my teaching career had made me realise that there was a dissonance between how children were taught and how children actually learned. I attended a seminar about Montessori Elementary (6-12) Education given by Baiba Grazzini and it all made sense and I decided Montessori education was the path for me.

In 2007 I re-trained over three summers at the Maria Montessori Institute. The actual course was like nothing I’d ever experienced before and certainly challenging. What brought it alive were the discussions with our course leader and my fellow students. I made the most wonderful group of friends during the training, and 15 years on we are still in touch.

Elementary Montessori Education in the UK is only available in the independent sector. I really wanted to see how it worked in the state system so I moved to the Netherlands and worked at the Casa Bilingual Montessori School. At the same time I also served on a committee trying to set up a state funded AMI Montessori Primary school in the UK. In spite of active support from two wonderful Maria Montessori Institute trainers we failed in our bid. Maria Montessori was a revolutionary and a visionary. As I witnessed in the Netherlands it is possible to offer her vision of education in the state system and to tick the boxes of government bureaucracy so I will continue to support that cause.

I would also encourage anyone interested in children’s education to do this unique training which brings so many career opportunities.

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