In autumn of 2020 I was placed in a self contained junior high class at Haugland Learning Center (HLC) through Ohio State’s First Education Experience Program. The course culminated in the presentation of a semester long service learning project. For my service project I supported literacy instruction in my CP’s Reading and Language Arts classes through lesson planning.
For the past year I have worked as an “on call” substitute teacher at St. Joseph Montessori School (SJMS). SJMS is a private Catholic school that serves children in preschool through 8th grade using the approach to education that was developed by the Italian physician, Maria Montessori. As a substitute, I accept teaching assignments across all subject areas, working with children of varied academic/age levels and diverse cultural backgrounds.
Working at SJMS has allowed me to learn from veteran teachers. They use a co-teaching model, so other than specials, when I am working I am with another permanent teacher. Under their guidance, I have enhanced my classroom management skills and built my confidence in leading a classroom.
Gaining an understanding of the Montessori philosophy has challenged my ideas of how I view myself as an instructor. It has taught me to value the child’s natural capabilities as a learner and to look inward when trying to improve my teaching practice. My experience here has motivated me to pursue training and employment outside of the traditional American educational approach.