That which has the most beauty, is the most cherished and can’t be replaced is often the most defenseless: our children.
I am driven by a deep love for children and my conviction that their innate creativity needs to be protected. The course of my life changed when I was derailed by a teacher’s wrongheaded and inappropriate instruction. I was becoming a professional musician when I entered a university music conservatory. Because he was my teacher and played with a major symphony, I trusted him. I believed that if I just practiced enough, I could overcome the discomfort I felt when following his directives. The muscular tension that developed as a result of his bad instruction became so deep-rooted and so painful that I had to give up my dream being a musician.
I transformed my roots in musical expression into the visual arts, the other of my talents, and set out to teach others in a way that I knew cherished their innate creativity.
I became a Certified Montessori Teacher and on moving to Woodstock, began working at The Woodstock Day School, a.k.a. The Woodstock Children’s Center. (Their program as well as their name has since changed.)Maria Montessori was a medical doctor trained in the scientific method. She recognized the importance of observation and developed her methods and apparatus by observing the children under her care.
Unfortunately, rather than putting the children first, many adherents of The Montessori Method began to connect early reading, writing, and mathematics as the objectives of her method. I had to reject this form of standardized education because of my own experience with bad teaching. I couldn’t do that to my students and I could not right the system from within.
So I started my own system, an education like none other. Developed during a span of over 30 years, outside of the system, based on independent studies and a career rich in experiences with students.
Children, particularly, transform the world around themselves with their creativity, their spontaneity, their spark. I am dogged in my determination to preserve that. I do it by witnessing them and their aspirations, which is the first step toward their self-affirmation. Then I use their aspirations to take them through decision making processes to achieve their goals. Through this they learn how to organize their actions. They learn that decisions have outcomes, and they come to know themselves as creative and competent people. In a very practical way, they learn to believe in themselves. I leave it to them to stake out the future. I know that my students will create a good one.
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