I came from a very small town. My elementary and middle school only consisted of a class of about fifty-five students. The teachers knew certain students because most of them were the athletes coaches. This caused a lot of favoritism. This caused some of the non-outspoken kids (like me) to feel fear and pressure when it came to answering to the teachers. There was no individualism.
Throughout my years of schooling, the only teachers who really had an impact on my education were my first, second, and third-grade school teachers. All of these teachers really helped me understand the importance of getting to know your students on a personal level and help figure out what works best for them in their learning. Once I got to middle school all of that changed. For the rest of my career in school, I noticed teachers cared more about the content rather than the students. This made me question whether or not I wanted to pursue teaching because of how much it discouraged me. It was not until my senior year when I went to work with my best friend’s mom who is a fifth-grade teacher, that she really showed me why I should be getting into this field.
My college career has introduced me to many educational pedagogies that have inspired me to focus my own around the practices of Marie Montessori. “Marie was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children learn naturally”. She founded the Montessori schools in 1907. In these schools, it is all child-centered learning. This means the activities include self-direction, hands-on learning, and collaborative play.
Marie’s pedagogy has inspired me to be able to get to know my students and teach them based off of their own interests. I feel as though it will help me understand my students better as well as allow them to enjoy their learning as they go. This helps them focus on indivdualism as well as working with others in collaboration to combine each other’s personal thoughts in a way that does not make them feel uncomfortable or that they may be wrong. This allows them to use their own ideas to come up with one great possible answer.