Education in Living Color: Samantha Van Den Berghe-Lynch
Follow the child
What is the Montessori difference? How has it impacted your students and your son?
The Montessori difference is that the education the child receives is for the whole child and that it is such a personal path. I think that one of my favorite components of the Montessori approach is the concept of “following the child.” I think it’s such a beautiful opportunity for children to take the lead and show the guide what resonates most with them. As I think of my son growing up, I hope most that he will always be engaged in the direction his life path goes that is what he has learned and continues to learn at Mountaineer Montessori.
How is MMS special to you?
Mountaineer Montessori is special to me because each year, each new class, is an opportunity to continue to grow and learn, not just for the children, but for me as well. I cannot articulate how much I have learned from the children. I have never felt a feeling of stagnation, there is always something shifting and evolving. Each group of children has a different energy, they inspire me to try something new and different whether it’s developing games to help internalize more complex concepts or using recycled materials to build and create. I am so grateful to be able to adapt the way I do things based on what the children show me is most exciting and enticing to them.
My training was a two year program at Virginia Center for Montessori studies in Richmond, Virginia. The first summer consisted of eight weeks on site, subsequent to that, I commuted to Richmond once a month for seminar weekends. My training include internal and external observations, written and oral exams, practice hours with all of the materials, and field consultant visits to observe my classroom. In addition, I prepared curriculum albums for each curriculum area.
Favorite Montessori quote:
“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”
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