How was your transition out of Montessori into another school?
The transition from Montessori into traditional public school was relatively smooth. I was on par, if not ahead, in all of my academics. I made friends easily, and public school was novel and exciting. The biggest shock of transitioning out of Montessori into public school was the huge increase in the number of students that I interacted with everyday. Going from a school where there were 6 people in my grade, to a school with 600 people in my grade was a lot to get used to, but after a few weeks, it seemed like the new normal and I didn’t even notice the hoards of people anymore.
What aspects of Montessori have stuck with you?
I can actually picture how math works, which is something that people who didn’t have hands on experience can’t do quite as easily. I remember sitting in a math class in 7th grade, taking a test on factoring trinomials. I could actually picture how to construct and deconstruct a trinomial cube, because, to me, it was a simple puzzle that I’d been playing with since I was in preschool. Even into high school, I was never happy with the answer that math worked “just because.” I knew math wasn’t magical. If there was someway to physically describe how/why math worked, that was the explanation I wanted.
Do you have any fond memories of your time at our school that you would like to share?
My favorite project in Montessori was in 6th grade, when my friend and I were having so much fun learning long division that we didn’t want to stop. We taped a ton of graph paper together, and created a long division problem that literally reached all the way across the classroom. Whenever we ran out of numbers we would just add more onto the end, and continue the problem. At the end of the day, we would roll up the problem, try our best to shove it into a cubby, and then pull it back out the next day, unroll it, and keep going. I still wonder what happened to that 10ft long long-division problem.
Where are you attending school now, and what are you enjoying in school? In life?
I am a senior this year at Sarah Lawrence College concentrating on developmental clinical psychology. This semester I’m taking classes in international law, Christian Mysticism, and silk-screening. On top of all of that, this will be my 4th year on the Sarah Lawrence swim team, and I’m taking on the role of captain this year. Wish us luck!
What are your plans for the future?
My ultimate life plan is to get my PhD in clinical psychology, developmental psychology, or school psychology and study the affects that different school environments have on rates of anxiety and depression in children. Montessori clearly had long-reaching impact on me, and it is something that I will continue to expand on through my life’s work.