Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Did It!!

I successfully completed my Montessori Teacher Training Course!

I learned so much in the process of taking this course - and not just about the Montessori method, but also about myself as well.

For years I blamed my mediocre grades on my inability to retain information for a long periods of time and because I was too shy to ask questions. While both of those things are true to an extent, I knew deep down that it was really just a bunch of bologna. Truth is, I was always a "lazy learner". I lacked motivation and support. My parents were always very lax about my education and never made a big deal out of grades or homework. Twice during my childhood my parents were urged to move me up a grade because teachers felt I wasn't being challenged enough. They decided against it for social reasons. I don't blame them for my actions (or lack thereof), but I do think their attitude affected my views on school.

Anyway, I was a bit nervous about taking this course because I wondered if I had the ability - and time! - to be successful and to follow through with it. I decided to go for it because the Montessori method is something that I truly believe in (my motivation) and because Paul, my loving husband, was positive I would succeed (my support).

Turns out that's all I needed!
I haven't seen a report card with this many A's (that had my name on it) in years!

Another thing I learned is that I can no longer consider myself one of those people who doesn't finish what they start. This is HUGE for me as it was something I had struggled with all my life. This past year has been filled with things I started AND finished. Hooray for personal growth!

Now, what am I going to do with my new-found knowledge and this diploma? Well, as I mentioned in this post, for the moment I plan on using it to teach James and any future children we may have. Paul and I have made the very exciting decision to homeschool indefinitely (more about that in a separate post). In the long term, it's a hope of mine that I'll someday open my own Montessori school. A much respected Bermudian approached me about opening up a school here. He was willing to back the endeavor (a necessary thing in order to start business in Bermuda) and while his confidence in me was certainly flattering, I declined the offer. For the time being I really want to focus on my family.

The folks at the North American Montessori Center (NAMC) have in no way asked me to do this, but since I'm all about sharing with you the good things I come across, I must recommend NAMC's 3-6 course. I had such a positive experience with their program and I was so impressed with their professionalism and high quality materials.

That said, however, I realize an online training course isn't the most ideal way to learn how to teach Montessori, but at the moment I am... geographically challenged :) and had no other choice. I'm thankful I have Montessori materials in my possession so I could actually touch and see what my manuals were teaching me. I would LOVE to take the full, hands-on training course someday.

Finally, I just want to say THANK YOU...
First to my wonderful husband for all his words of encouragement and praise, and for graciously giving me the time and space I needed during my many, many hours of studying. You are one of kind, my love.

Thanks also to my lovely NAMC tutor, Collean, who was extremely kind and helpful and always took the time to give me meaningful and encouraging feedback.

Lastly I want to thank my bloggy friends for their support! Many of you reached out to me throughout the past several months to inquire about my progress and to wish me well. I was always so moved by this and it did everything to solidify my belief that real friendships can be created online.

Now to celebrate!

~Thank you for your comments!~


  1. Congratulations. This is a huge accomplishment, especially with a little one at home! Just wondering how long it took you and how many courses there are. I teach second grade, but I am considering switching over to Montessori. Congrats again! Monica

  2. Thank you, ladies!

    Monica, The NAMC site indicates it should take 7 months to complete the course (I finished a bit early - just a bit over 6 months). The course is split up into 3 large components and you have 3 months to finish each component. I think they offer a few different courses. Take a peek at the link I provided in my post to learn more! :)

  3. How fantastic!! I am so very happy for you!

  4. Congratulations! I am so happy for you! What an accomplishment.

  5. Congrats! Its no wonder though- you are amazing!

  6. Mari-Ann,
    I am proud of you! Isn't the feeling of finishing great, especially with all those A's! (It was my first time getting all A's in a course too!)
    I remember when we first talked about NAMC and I'm glad that you went through and got your training

    You are an amazing mom to James & will be a great teacher in your own school one day too!

    (hugs) and big Congratulations!

  7. Congratulations, what a fantastic accomplishment! A great gift to yourself and your child(ren)!

  8. CONGRATS!!!!!!! I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments!

  9. Congratulations!! You are really one inspiring lady.

  10. This is very inspiring! Congrats!!!

  11. Congratulations on your diploma! What a wonderful program to have completed. I enjoyed you sharing why this means so much to you.
    I thoroughly enjoy your blog and the many wonderful projects you do. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Congratulations on a job VERY well done! I am beaming with pride for my friend. I knew you could do it!

    I smiled when I read your parents were told to move you up a grade or two. Why doesn't this surprise me? Your awesomeness started long ago!

    Now on a more serious note, I want you to know what an inspiration you've been to me over the past year. You've helped me to become a better mother to my boys and for that my entire family is grateful, thank you, thank you.

    Your thoughtfulness, your never-ending creativity and above all your generosity in sharing all of this with everyone is truly a hallmark of what a good person you are. James and Paul are very lucky to have you.


  13. Congratulations!!!! This is very exciting! :)

  14. How exciting! Congratulations!

  15. WOOOW Mari-Ann! Congrats!! I'm so happy for you!
    I'm sure you'll be a wonderful teacher or school owner one day!

  16. Yippyyyy Mari-Ann! I'm so proud of you! I'd love to take a Montessori course. But its very hard to find it here in PR. I'm considering taking Karen's course. I'd love to see you as a Monti director or owner. :)

  17. oo celebrate indeed! I hope you guys go out and do something extra fun!! Congrats on the completion not only did you set out and do it. you aced the thing! WTG!!

  18. I am really tempted to get this done. I do have the motivation because I believe in Montessori and the support (husband is positive I will be good).
    I've been going back and forth about doing this because of the lack of practical training. Thanks for posting about your personal growth and sharing the information.

  19. That is soooo awesome! I did Montessori training, right after I got out of high school, at a college here in the Pacific Northwest but my GPA was nowhere NEAR that terrific! CONGRATS! Love your blog.

  20. WoooHooo! Congratulations, indeed! Such an accomplishment, and it will serve you well in parenthood and whatever endeavors lay ahead :-)

  21. Congrats my friend!!! This is awesome :) I am proud of you!!!!!

  22. Awesome, that's fabulous. Congrats. :-)

  23. Congratulations Mari-Ann! I've always known you are a total superstar and now you should know it too!!

  24. What a wonderful accomplishment! I just stumbled upon your blog today, and have to let you know how wonderful it truly is. I am familiar with 1+1+1 and some other home-preschooling sites, but it's nice to see it in action, and you seem to be so... ORGANIZED. I am extremely envious of that. I have spent the past few months trying to get my act together to start preschool lessons for my (just-turned) 3y.o. boy, but with an 18m.o. in the mix I'm coming up short. I will be incorporating several of your ideas, particularly the sensory tubs and alphabet drawers (I think I'll start out with pouches). I am nervous to try to capture his attention, and part of me feels out of my element, like I should have enrolled him in preschool (even though I feel it's truly unnecessary at this age). They are such brain-sponges at this age!!! I don't want to shortchange him. Anyway, my point is simply to say thanks for taking the immense amount of time needed to keep your blog (I have attempted it and then shelved it myself). I will be visiting often to steal - I mean, borrow - your ideas.
    Rebecca, fellow "first teacher" in San Diego

  25. Congratulations on the completing the course! James is very lucky to be raised and taught by you, and I am sure he will not become a lazy learner in a warm and supportive environment.

  26. Congrats to you what a HUGE accomplishment!

  27. Congratulations Mari-Ann. Look at that report card, straight A's (although I am not one bit surprised by your exceptional results). I am thrilled for you.

    When you do open your own Montessori school it will be such a blessing to all who have the absolute privilege of attending - it will be sensational.

  28. Wow! Congratulations, I'm so impressed! Doing an online course must be quite challanging, to say the least!!

  29. hip hip horray for you! I want to have a school someday too. someday!

  30. Congratulations. Very well deserved. If you lived closer, my son would be at your school! You are going to be an awesome home schoolin mama, since you basically already are! And like you said, you now know you can follow through. Don't let the school thing just be a dream. You can do it.

  31. That is AWESOME! Way to go! I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and am adding it my my blogs favorites list TONIGHT!
    Di Ryan

  32. Congrats on this amazing accomplishment! I'm so proud of you! You clearly put a lot of work and time into achieving this goal, and I honestly don't know how you did it and still managed to do all the fantastic activities you do with James all day! What an honor to be asked to open your own Montessori school in Bermuda. I understand that the timing wasn't right, but I DEFINITELY think that would be a fantastic idea for your future. Can't wait to see what's in store for you!

  33. Congrats!
    What a great accomplishment! Way to go!


  34. Congratulations! I'm proud of you both for finishing and for being able to focus on what matters most to you right now!

  35. How strange that I just discovered your wonderful blog, the day after I decided to do an online teaching diploma Montessori too! Guess I will be back....
    and well done on the "a's" and completing it considering your previous blocks!

  36. Congrats Mari-Ann!! I'm glad we get to learn vicariously through you.

  37. congratulations!
    I did the same course and recommend it for anyone who can't take a classroom course, my tutor was also excellent.

  38. Mari-Ann,
    First off, congratulations on your very exciting accomplishment!! I wish I had your vigor! And to do it whilst raising a child AND living on the BEACH! Woot~

    Secondly, love this blog and refer to it often as I am an Assistant Teacher of toddlers...hoping to take on the responsibility of Infant Teacher soon. I am interested in the Montessori way and have been "researching" curriculum to introduce in my classroom. Do you have any recommendations for *infant* Montessori books I could check out?

    Again, congrats!!

  39. Hi Rebekkah,

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment! I'm thrilled to know you've found some useful ideas here.

    I'm not very familiar with the infant side of Montessori, but I've heard good things about Paula Polk Lillard's book, Montessori from the Start. Let me know what you think of it!


  40. wow congrats this is so inspiring!! :) I remember in college we got to go into and explore a montessori classroom, it was amazing with all the materials they had out for little ones to touch, things you'd think would be unsafe, but the children were taught to be so careful. Such a great teaching philosophy :) I'd love to learn more about it one day, this post and your blog has definitely inspired me :)

  41. Congratulations, Mari-Ann! We love your blog and look forward to reading more about your Montessori journey. Best of luck!

  42. Hello Mari-Ann,

    I don't know you but if I did and you lived anywhere near we would hopefully be friends.

    Congratulations on your achievement and on the beautiful blog you have created and kept going.

    Thank you,

    Thea Bredie @ Anne Frank Montessori, England.

  43. SS, I'm soooo proud of you and your achievements! You have come a long way baby!!! Continue to reach for the stars, nothing is out of your reach! Thank God for your dear husband and his support. You are a wonderful person and you will be a great teacher. Congratulations!!!!


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