The inaugural cohort of the CGMS Casa de Niños program begins in October, 2020. For information on the Early Childhood certificate program, please visit CGMS.edu/Spanish.
What inspired you to develop the CGMS Casa de Niños certificate course?
In 2017, I was retiring from my job as an administrator of a very reputable Montessori school in Oakland, California, and moving to Merida, Mexico, when I was approached by CGMS Director of Operations, and an old-time friend, to begin organizing the Montessori Children’s House program in Spanish. I saw an opportunity to continue being involved in the work I loved but in a different way, distance teaching, but most importantly, to share my passion for the Montessori Method with future teachers in the Spanish speaking world. I also saw the opportunity to increase bilingual education by teaching in Spanish in other countries.
What have you seen as the biggest challenge in Montessori certification for Spanish speakers?
I believe the availability is the biggest challenge for many people who want to take a Montessori course. Transporting and removing oneself from home and work to a distant training center is for some unattainable. The beauty of our CGMS blended programs is that we allow the person to study in his/her environment and then have in person sessions. We are now offering the entire Children’s House course in Spanish, with Instructional Guides whose Spanish is their first language.
Accredited certificate programs have residential and practice components. What can you tell us about yours?
I have taken three Montessori courses. My first one, the elementary course in Bergamo, Italy, was a ten month program where we had afternoon lectures and practice every morning.
The second course that I took was the Children’s House course. I traveled two nights a week to a local university where the course was being offered, for an hour each way, for 18 months. My practice was done during the day at the school where I worked and on Saturdays at the training center.
My third course was the Assistants to Infancy. The course was offered in Houston, Texas, and I was living in Florida at that time. I had to pack my bags for two months during the summer leaving my family behind. I did that two consecutive summers and in between I organized a toddler class in the afternoons after my regular work, to be able to practice what I learned with that age group. For the observations that I had to make of babies, I became a volunteer, on Saturdays, at my local hospital in the maternity ward. I was lucky to be able to do my observations in the nursery of the hospital. I did that for a whole year until I had all the necessary hours that the course required.
What can participants expect from this program?
This program will offer every student, complete knowledge of the Montessori Method. Besides the Philosophy and Methodology, and the four core curricular areas in the program, the students will be able to understand the depth of Maria´s observations and how they are validated with current studies. Enrichment subjects will also be offered in conjunction with other areas of the Montessori curriculum. All these lessons will be put into practice, in the practice phase, when the student works with children in a classroom for an entire school year. The residential phase of the program is the person to person experience, where the students will be able to practice the presentations and receive live lectures from experienced instructors. Each student will earn at the end of this program, once they fulfill all the requirements, a Montessori diploma to teach children 3 to 6 years of age.
What will your residential program be like?
As I mentioned before, the residential phase is the time when students and instructors meet, person to person, for 120 hours in the summer. We are starting our course on October 26, 2020, so the summer of 2021, the residential phase for our course will take place.
My wish is to hold our residential phase in a Spanish speaking country, but we will select a school respecting the location where most of our future students will be. So the place will be announced later on.
Tell us about your background and what you bring to the Spanish-speaking Montessori world.
I am Mexican and the Montessori Method is my passion. Next year will be my 50th anniversary since I became a Montessori Guide.
The CGMS Casa de Niños begins in October, 2020. For more information on the Early Childhood certificate program, please visit CGMS.edu/Spanish.