I attended LMS from 1997 to 2006. After graduating from I attended Washington Montessori School followed by Taft School. Currently I am on a gap year and I will attend Princeton University in the fall. On my gap year I spent the first semester in Seville, Spain learning Spanish and about the culture of Spain. This semester I am heading to Bolivia and Peru to study Spanish, culture and life in Latin America, and intercultural development and leadership.
My Montessori experience taught me how to hold myself responsible for my own education. Because I was encouraged to make my own choices from a young age I understand and cherish the power that I have to control my own learning. In high school I found I could choose to absorb the information that my teacher’s put in front of me or not, yet because of the fantastic training I had from my extraordinary Montessori teachers I felt inspired to absorb as much as possible. They instilled in me a love for learning and a desire to get the most out of my education. With their guidance and encouragement I learned to challenge and motivate myself. I have learned to choose the test tubes instead of the bead chain, to do the homework even if the teacher won’t check it, and ultimately to make the most of the educational opportunities I have been given.
My favorite moments at LMS were the ones when we got to interact with students in different classrooms, younger and older. When I was in Children’s house I loved when the students from Lower El and Upper El would help us put on our shoes or escort us to the all-school Thanksgiving Feast. Conversely as a student in Upper El I loved helping the younger students. Even inside the classrooms older students would help younger students with their work. This tradition of helping each other made my time at LMS wonderful. I always felt welcome and supported and even though I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I cherish the strong sense of community I feel every time I return.
I don’t remember having a favorite work, but I do remember moments when I mastered different materials. I remember struggling with the pink tower in Children’s House and then finally one day I stacked it all the way up. In Lower El I remember the day I conquered the test tubes. In Upper El I vividly recall the moment that I finally finished the Language Cabinet. Those little moments of triumph are still great reminders to me of how rewarding it is to persevere.
Above Eliza is pictured with her school photo taken by Paul Cryan at LMS.