I began teaching at Litchfield Montessori School in 1986 after I completed my Montessori training as well as my Masters Degree in Education. I studied at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. We were moving back to Connecticut and I wanted our son to continue his Montessori schooling in the elementary level. I was directed to LMS and knew immediately that the true Montessori philosophy was practiced here in the curriculum and in the staff’s demeanor. I enrolled our son and soon received a position as a Children’s House Directress, which was my level of training. I have been here ever since!
In my entire career here, I have always looked forward to helping children learn to read. Reading has given me such pleasure as well as a deeper understanding of life. I try to share this joy as well as the skill with children. In addition, I endeavor to introduce the students to classic books and stories, which can offer an insight into what it means to be human. How do we make the moral choices needed? Stories can guide us.
One of my dearest memories happened early in my career. There was a little 3-year-old girl who was sad separating from mom and dad. The dad lived elsewhere. She was repeating the same work every day. I knew that the Montessori tenet of repetition leads to mastery. However, a Directress needs to walk a balance and know when to move a child along in their progress. One day, I approached her and honored her daily choice but then I asked her if she would like to make a second choice. The choice making and adult support gave her the strength to know that it is ok to take a chance on other materials and use her initiative. This one event combines the Montessori philosophy, curriculum, respect and human empathy as well as feelings. It is a rich profession! Today she is a professional as well as an artist!
My favorite part of teaching in a Montessori school is the flexibility to teach to a child’s interests within the structure of the curriculum. This method enables children to be true to themselves and to think of others. This cannot be taught as well if left to a future time in the child’s life. The time is now and everyday
Above Elaine is pictured in the 2012 class picture and a class picture from 1997.