{NEW STAFF MEMBER} Today we welcome Jemma to the team...

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Our team has now grown to four of us! Today we welcome our fourth staff member, Jemma Hicks as Education Coordinator!

You can read more on Jemma below:


There is a strong focus in mainstream education to improve literacy and numeracy results. This may seem like an honourable mission, but in my experience many children are missing out on building foundational social, emotional and fine and gross motor skills in the process. Children who are not able to hold a pencil correctly, use scissors, open their own lunchbox or go to the toilet independently are expected to learn a list of sight words each week. Five year olds who are unable to initiate conversations, take turns using equipment, ask for help, (or if they can play with their friends ball at lunch time), are expected to write abstract character descriptions and persuasive texts for english. As you would expect, many five year olds find it difficult to write a persuasive text and many early childhood teachers are pulling their hair out and wondering why they are asked to teach this in the first place!
I started working in education as a Primary School teacher in 2009 because I have a passion for Early Childhood education. As I worked as a Prep and Year One teacher for six years I saw the focus in the mainstream classrooms begin to shift away from the children. Over the years the Early Childhood curriculum in Queensland schools has moved away from the play based, constructionist approach with concrete materials, to an extremely formal and abstract system that I feel would be more appropriate in the middle or upper school. Instead of focusing on social and emotional skills and helping children develop their independence and self-esteem, Prep and Year One teachers are “under the hammer” to ensure their children are reading and writing at pre-determined levels by the end of each term. 

Montessori education has been around for more than 100 years and I believe we need it now more than ever. I believe the reason Montessori is becoming more popular is that parents and children are feeling the effects of the mainstream schooling system that is pushing our young children to “achieve” without stopping to look at the result. I have spoken with many parents who feel distressed because their child does not want to go to school or already feel they are failing. In a Montessori environment, children learn to be independent, persistent and self-motivated. They are given time to develop their social skills, emotional independence and creativity. They are given time and the concrete resources to really play with and explore each concept.  I believe Montessori education is a real education. Children are given the freedom to learn and grow and the freedom to develop their unique personalities and interests.  How can we expect young adults to enter the workforce as self-motivated, independent, creative and resilient people if we never give them the opportunity to develop these skills throughout primary school?

 

We look forward to the impact Jemma will have on I AM Montessori and the direction we are heading!

If you would like to contact Jemma you can email her at jemma@iammontessori.com.au or call 07 3848 2391

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  • Rebecca Grugan
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