After coming to the UK from India Thangamma Ponnappa opted to study with Modern Montessori International (MMI) to fulfil her ambition to work as a Montessori practitioner…
Before I came to England I had worked as a childcare practitioner in India, but in order to practise here I had to gain new qualifications.
I had read a lot about the Montessori approach and knew this was what I wanted to do. I contacted Sally at MMI in 2015, who was very supportive and suggested I take the Level 3 Early Years Educator alongside the MMI diploma.
Before this I had been looking at an online course which would not have been recognised, so it was very fortunate that I opted for MMI.
The great thing about studying with MMI is that there is the opportunity to meet with its Montessori practitioners and get a real sense of what the training involves.
After looking at what MMI offered online I met up with Sally and committed to the course. It involves a placement of five months and luckily I was able to gain practical experience in MMI’s nursery in Croydon, which I did while carrying out research and writing assignments.
At the end of my placement MMI offered me a job, which was ideal as I could continue studying for the Level 3 while gaining on-the-job experience. It was also very helpful to have colleagues around me who could help – and particularly Sally, who was always on hand.
In the nursery I initially worked in the big, busy baby room and then in the new preschool unit when it was completed in 2018. I had to take a maternity break when my second child was born, which meant it took longer for me to complete the Level 3 than I had anticipated, but this was not a problem.
I’ve always wanted to work with children and it was important for me to gain an in-depth understanding of Montessori teaching and how this fits with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), particularly as it is so different to back home in India.
I had good experience behind me, having worked with children living in very deprived situations, but the approach in England to early learning is very different.
It was the opportunity to combine the placement at MMI Croydon with the assignments and research that has given me a deep knowledge of child development and the confidence to become a Montessori teacher and room leader.
Established with the propose of maintaining the Montessori tradition, MMI training provides an up-to-date and comprehensive course in the Montessori method – focusing on the important ways in which its key approaches currently complement the EYFS, and achieve positive outcomes for children.
Personal advice is on hand for students when they decide to undertake the Level 3 Early Years Educator and Montessori diploma, which is a combination of online learning and practical placement.
It will organise placements and be flexible in accommodating how long a student may need to complete the qualification. It can also be completed quickly, in the space of one year.
We live in a global world in which practitioners may want to travel to different countries to work, and network about international practice.
MMI Group supports national initiatives that foster the spirit of care for the environment among staff and students, and maintains a strong commitment to local and international communities.
MMI qualifications are recognised in many countries of the world.
To find out more visit modernmontessori-intl.com.
Written by Karen Faux. Copyrighted from Early Years Educator, 2019
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