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Interview with Montessori Teacher Maryam G.
My mother, Maryam G., teaches early childhood, which is ages 3-6. She teaches using the Montessori Method. Montessori philosophy can best be described as giving a child an environment suitable for learning and mental development and then leave him or her to choose what he or she likes to do. This freedom of choice creates a seemingly casual, but highly controlled environment for children. The focus is placed on areas like sensorial development, language development, mathematics, and real life experiences. Mrs. G.owns a school which is located in our house. She finds that working at home has its own satisfactions and pleasures.
Why did you choose to be a teacher?
After having raised my own children, I felt that I had a natural passion towards teaching little kids, and I wanted to continue working with them.
How do you decide how much money to charge?
I calculate the number of hours and use the prevailing hourly rate for such services.
How did you decide which ages to teach?
Dr. Maria Montessori has identified the first five years as the “sensitive period” for a child’s mental and emotional development. For this reason, I decided to get certified for kids 3-6 years old. Since I’m certified for that age, I only teach that age group.
How do you feel about having your own business?
It is extremely rewarding and I get a great sense of accomplishment. I like the fact that I am my own boss, and I don’t have to report to anyone. However, this also means that I have to do everything by myself, and make sure I get all the work done.
In what ways are you satisfied with your job?
The biggest satisfaction comes from parents, whose children are under my care. When they see their child read his or her first word, they usually cry with happiness. Having my own home-based business also allows me to stay with my kids after they come back from school. I do not have someone else, like a boss, who controls my work.
What kinds of interesting things happen during the school day?
I enjoy kids’ response to new things. Whenever they see a new thing to do, such as a puzzle or a new book to read, they get very excited. Like, once I read them a book in which the kids got medals for winning something. The kids thought that was really interesting and wanted to make their own medals, so that became a fun activity to do with them.
What kinds of challenges do you face in teaching?
Teaching young kids requires a lot of patience, they have to be dealt with very calmly, and this is a big challenge. The other challenge is that I am working till late in the evening even after the kids are all gone, this is quite tiring.
In what ways have the children taught you something about life?
That happiness is available in simple things around us; we have to learn to find it.