Meet our Graduates - Kelly

Kelly Loh.JPG

 A little about you
I'm originally from Singapore and graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S in Psychology. I've always enjoyed being around children and worked at a daycare center for a few years. I'm kind of crafty (I try to be) and I'm getting to be more outdoorsy after having lived in Oregon for 5+ years!

Describe the course workload:
The course workload is pretty intense. They ease you into it for the first month or so, then it's pretty intense from then on. BUT it's enjoyable, interesting and engaging work. It was very helpful that they gave us a guideline of due dates to help us stay on track and plan ahead. You make your own teaching albums so you're personally responsible for the quality of your work. I really liked the material making assignments, they were somewhat tedious but boy did it feel good to see the fruit of my labor when I was done! 

How well did the course prepare you to be a Montessori teacher?
I think the course prepared me as much as it could. I don't think anyone can ever be a 100% prepared to be a Montessori teacher after completing the course because children are human after all and humans can be unpredictable. It definitely prepared me in terms of how to give lessons and conduct myself in the classroom, but I think the overall classroom management just comes from actual teaching experience. 

Did you enjoy your training at MNW?
Yes! I absolutely did! I liked all my classmates, the instructors and MNW staff. Everyone was always so cheery and polite, so it just created a warm and friendly atmosphere. The instructors and support staff were always ever ready to answer questions and give tips and advice, so it made it easy to approach them. 

What were some unexpected challenges?
Presenting lessons to my fellow classmates was hard for me at first. I take time to warm up to new people and to feel comfortable around them, so that took me out of my comfort zone initially. Getting the albums paginated and organized by the deadline sometimes proved to be a challenge. FYI: pagination can take more than just an hour! 

What were some unexpected highlights?
Singing songs together before class, the material making faire, the Celebration of Light auction, and the class cohesion (it made for a better learning experience).

Would you recommend this course to others?
Absolutely! The staff are awesome folks and the information was presented in an engaging and fun way. You could tell that the instructors genuinely loved imparting the philosophy of Montessori education to their students and had a vested interest in helping us become great Montessori teachers. MNW has a warm, family vibe to it and that just makes for a great learning atmosphere. 

Any advice for incoming students?
I wouldn't advise working and doing the course at the same time, I know some people who managed to do it but I personally don't think I could've. I was in awe of those who managed to hold down a job and those who had children at home, I don't know how they did it!! Stay on top of your work and it's definitely best to limit procrastination to a minimum because the work is pretty much non-stop, there's always something to be done. Take as many detailed notes as you can from the presentations and practice with the materials as much as you can until it becomes second nature!

Posted on July 1, 2013 and filed under Graduates | Testimony.