Hear from our Students: Jenny Roberts Mendoza
I personally found the recent AMI Refresher course on Language to be inspiring and profoundly educational. As the title denotes, it refreshed my memory and brought me back to my original training. Of course, as in any other past Montessori courses, I have been inspired to enhance my practice and I learned something new.
We all value our training and the unique insights each Trainor passed on to us based on their own strengths and personalities. I was under the tutelage of Patricia Hilson, a strong advocate for Montessori education and the first Australian AMI Trainor. Some of the learning experiences Pat instilled in us her students, which were refreshed by this course are: an understanding of the importance of the sensitive periods; giving children the keys to the world in 3-6, they can learn about the universe in primary school; and to never underestimate the value of oral language as a foundation for the child’s later work with language materials.
Amy, like Pat, has the gift of being able to translate our “Montessori speak” in a language that mainstream educators would be able to understand and appreciate. Amy was able to do this without sacrificing the integrity and core principles of our Montessori educational philosophy. It was good to be shown how we can simplify the task for the children by adapting and creating materials that are suited to their needs in that moment. Amy showed us examples of how we could make the work exciting for children and still keep within the basic aims and functions of each material. Of course, the other side of the coin is more material making, especially for time poor teachers who work full time. I am wondering if the connection and enjoyment we had in our breakout rooms can lead to more professional networking and a barter of ideas and materials?
In summary I would like to say that it is good to be connected to people again, in a space where learning together and supporting each other is the main focus. Thank you, Amy, for the very inspiring refresher sessions and for reminding us that giving children the “keys” translates to giving children “just enough”. Our Montessori language program is so rich and is enough to meet the needs of children in 3-6. Refresher courses like this one enhances our practice by building our confidence in executing the task and offering activities to children. It also gives us fresh ideas to try.
Jenny Roberts Mendoza
(2021 AMI Montessori Refresher Course)