Saturday, November 6, 2010

If Dreams Had Voices

I've been thinking about this for a while now, but only recently has it come back and hit me full force. Maybe it's the writer's neurosis and maybe it's just a passion calling again and again, but I can't shake it, so I'll blog it. Now more than ever, I feel it is my calling to study the Montessori method of educating young children. It's already a part of who I am as a teacher and already a part of my general teaching philosophy. Part of me wanted to get up and do this after finishing my undergrad degree and student teaching. I don't know why I didn't. Back then, a huge part of me said just go out and get more experience before making a decision like this.

Montessori training for a teacher is expensive in the United States, it will run about $10,000 for a one-year diploma certification. But, it's well worth it in the end, I think. The career opportunities for Montessori-certified teachers aren't numerous, but they are optimal. You have your pick of a school and working environment when all said and done. And after six plus years of less than optimal teaching gigs, I think I deserve a better break for myself. This year, while in Korea and learning lots, has taught me more than ever than I am not a traditional teacher. I'm not a worksheet teacher. And Korea is a worksheet country. So is the United States for the most part. It's dawned on me in the past five months of teaching that I loathe front of the room, call and response teaching. It doesn't work for me, and it doesn't work for the average six year old child.

I've been doing some research. Turns out, I've always wanted to go to London, UK. Turns out, the original Maria Montessori Institute just north of London offers a one year comprehensive diploma certification for Montessori teachers. 7,525 British pounds for the year's tuition. It's a full time program, complete with schooling on theory and philosophy, history, and student teaching and practicum hours in a Montessori classroom. I did the conversion and it comes to about $12,000 US dollars. That's all I have so far, but it's worth it for a career I can definitely stick with in the end.

An added perk: This certificate is recognized internationally, so I could go any where in the world and have a teaching gig at the end of the year. Average salary for a certified Montessori teacher with a four year Bachelor's degree and experience is somewhere in the range of $45,000/year, according to some quick internet research. That's definitely enough to pay back the loans in a year from the money I took out to pay for this thing. That's in the southeastern US.

Not sure of all the details, but the program for next year starts September 2011. If all goes well, I could be in London by that time. A true dream come true.

Mom: If you are reading this, don't freak out. Give me a Skype chat and we'll talk through it. Don't share with you know who just yet. Details have to be worked out.
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