by Michelle Becka
About one and a half years ago, I began the journey to become an AMI Primary Trainer. I had been teaching children in the Casa for the past 17 years, and I was still enjoying being in their presence, appreciating their happy and joyful energy. While working with the children, I continued to learn new things each day, particularly with regards to my spiritual self, but I had begun to long for a deeper intellectual challenge.
Enter Training of Trainers! This journey has been such an amazing opportunity to explore Dr. Montessori’s work from a new perspective, to revisit topics that I had been putting into practice for years, but now with the intention of going deeper. The first year in Training of Trainers, one is expected to re-sit the entire course, and I was fortunate enough to have Ginni Sackett and Sarah Werner Andrews as my teachers! It was fascinating to see all of the lessons I had been showing to children over the years, but to see them again as if I were a brand new student. I learned a lot, I saw some techniques that were new to me, and I felt familiar and comfortable with the majority of the presentations.
Alongside the practical experience of seeing presentations on the materials, I was also invited to begin writing the papers that are required for Training of Trainers, as well as creating my Trainer’s Albums. The Training of Trainers Program requires a great deal of writing on a variety of theory topics, as well as on the practical topics of how to give certain lessons. Thus far, I have been astounded at the depth of Montessori’s intelligence, and the thoroughness of her observations. Revisiting her work now, after years of classroom experience, is such a great pleasure. I understand so much more, I see so many details and nuances reading her words now, shades and distinctions that I didn’t pick up on when I first read her, or even upon later reading as a teacher during the course of my career.
I am now in my second year of Training of Trainers, and I am continuing to work on writing the required papers and on refining my Trainer’s Albums. Under Ginni’s guidance, I am presenting portions of the curriculum to the students, reading and assessing their work, and overall being a part of the Pedagogical Primary Team here at MNW.
It is an amazing journey, and MNW is incredibly supportive of me as I learn and grow on this path of becoming a Trainer. It is a highly collaborative and functional place to work. I am surrounded by lots of extremely intelligent people who are all working towards one goal: to further Montessori education for all. I am extremely happy to be doing this work, and excited to imagine the day when I am a fully recognized Trainer here at Montessori Northwest.
Michelle Becka graduated from MNW in 1997 with a primary diploma, and also has a M.Ed. from Loyola. After 17 years as a Primary Guide, she is absolutely thrilled to be pursuing the Training of Trainers Programme at MNW. Michelle loves practicing yoga, riding her bike, reading great books, and learning new things.