Maria Montessori, over 100 years ago urged teachers with her simple yet powerful message to "work in the service of the human being". While her original idea spoke to the notion of the work of educating children, today, a new ideal encompasses the willingness of Montessori educators to also work in service of each other in the form of giving support, guidance and sharing knowledge with fellow teachers worldwide.
Tim Seldin and Kitty Bravo from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies have just announced the creation of a new volunteer initiative that will utilize experienced Montessori educators working as volunteer mentors for the Global Montessori Service Corps. While still in the early stages, guidelines on how the Montessori Service Corps will work and what help is still needed from the Montessori community have just been released.
In a letter to volunteer mentors, Kitty Bravo explained the overall vision for the Global Montessori Service Corps.
The first phase of services to be offered by GMSC would mainly focus on providing
long distance mentoring through the use of web conferencing and email. We would
also try to connect people in need with others who may be in their country or with
Montessorians that may be traveling in their area. In a later phase, I would hope we
would find funding to help make it possible for volunteers to travel to some of these
distant locations to provide on-site guidance and training.
Utilizing inexpensive personal web cam equipment and free Skype video conferencing technology, volunteer mentors will be paired up with a "Montessorian in Need" (MIN) from somewhere around the world. Ms. Bravo envisions a MIN as being someone who is
- Starting a new Montessori school in a remote location with little or no nearby
- Transitioning an existing preschool to Montessori in similar circumstances as
- New teachers with limited or no Montessori training working in Montessori
- Teachers taking distance education training courses where there are not
experienced Montessorians to provide guidance.
schools in developing counties
experienced and certified supervising teachers available to provide day to day guidance
Tim Seldin, Kitty Bravo and The Center for Guided Studies are hoping to have a firm organizational structure in place soon, but need additional volunteers to assist with building a strong foundation for the Global Montessori Service Corps. In a call to the Montessori community at large, Ms. Bravo explains what help is needed.
There are many more ideas for how we can bridge the many miles and provide
resources to people who want to bring Montessori to their communities or improve the
quality of Montessori offered. Some of these ideas will require funding or additional
time and energy of volunteers and are things we can look to for the future of the
organization. Contact me if you have expertise and interest in helping to develop the
organizational systems that will lay a foundation for this work.
If you have 5+ years of Montessori teaching experience and are interested in becoming a volunteer mentor or would like to request help in the form of a mentorship, email Kitty Bravo at the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
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