When I was a senior in High School, I worked at a Day Care Center near my home after school. It was just a Day Care; There was no attempt made to educate or enrich, it was a place for children to be while mom and dad were at work. I enjoyed working with the children, but I had no idea how much more a preschool program could offer.
In college, I looked for work at a nearby Child Care facility and found a Montessori School. I had no idea what Montessori was, but it was only a few blocks from my apartment. So, I applied and got a job teaching music to a group of 4–6-year-olds. During my interview, the Director told me that she only admitted children of single parents, or parents who were in school. I expected the children to be ill behaved and in need of constant direction. Boy was I wrong!
On the first day of work, I observed the children to be extremely polite and well behaved. I was teaching a song with hand motions and movements, which the kiddos at my old Day Care loved, and during my lesson one of the children kept moving away from the group towards the classroom shelves. When I inquired about it, one of the other children said, “She wants to work.”. Work? I thought to myself. Why would a child want to work when they can play? I had never known preschool children to behave this way. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it was the Montessori method that had helped shape these young children’s behaviors.
When College was out for the summer, I started to work full time in one of the Montessori Classrooms. I had a wonderful supervising teacher from Pakistan who took me under her wing and taught me a lot about the Montessori method. I was determined to take the Montessori training for my Teacher Certification. I paid $900 for that training, which seemed like a fortune to me at the time, but it was the best investment I have ever made. I taught for many years for other people, and then decided that I was never 100% in agreement with some of the philosophies and practices of my school Directors. So, in 1993 I started Children’s Choice Montessori in Springfield, Oregon. It has been so rewarding to provide a Montessori program for so many children, and these days, children of former students. We appreciate your trust in our program, and our talented staff.
Carla McQuillan, Executive Director
Children’s Choice Montessori