I received a totally unexpected email the other day. It was from a former student who has just received her DRIVER'S LICENSE! She is doing very well and fondly thinks back to her memories from Montessori school. She recalls her "favorite teacher" and the sense of community she enjoyed in the Montessori environment. This compliment could easily go to my head and boost my ego. However, many people do not realize it's not the Montessori teacher or the materials that are the children's "favorite", deep down it's actually the philosophy. Children who attend Montessori schools for 3+ years truly take away from the experience more than just a solid, well-rounded education. Their core personality is formed and they leave the school caring, active leaders of the community.
Reflect on your "favorite" childhood teacher. Did the teacher instill a sense of independence and community in the classroom? Did you feel a sense of ownership over the classroom? Maybe it was really just his/her philosophy of teaching that you preferred.
...Or maybe she just let you erase the chalkboard from time to time. lol.