CHILDREN TEACH ME TO LOOK AT THE WORLD WITH OPEN EYES
Day after day I do what I enjoy, what makes sense to me and what brings me tremendous fulfillment. For me, Marché is not only a wonderful job, but also a hobby.
JOURNEY TO THE WORLD OF EDUCATION, OR WHEN A SHORTAGE BECOMES AN INSPIRATION
Then came the family and I began to explore various methods of education. Montessori inspired me and I felt that these are the principles with which I identify. I fell in love with the approach where the children are perceived as competent beings, where they can explore the world according to their internal needs and have a chance to live with a free and open mind. The approach where the children have the opportunity to have her own opinion, where they are treated with respect and love and where they are loved for who they are.
Although it would have never occurred to me six years ago, today I am fulfilling my dreams, which actually mean much more to me than a dress for a blue-eyed beauty. Design and attention to detail, however, remained an essentially important element for me till today…
EDUCATION OF MY CHILDREN HAS LEAD ME FARTHER THAN I HAVE EVER EXPECTED
We decided for the variant of a state Montessori preschool, but we were not admitted the first year. Thus came another Montessori preschool, then another transfer and more unmet needs. All my dreams of Montessori suddenly buckled like a house of cards.
In my mind I had questions: “Is really this environment and approach the right thing I want for my kids?”, “Is it not possible to do it otherwise, without toys, only with original materials?”, “Is this the only way?”. Those moments made me think, study further and ultimately take action. I had to grapple with the idea of wherein lies the rub, why is it that so many things were not to my liking. Slowly I recognized what is the right path for me, and what meant after all.
Even though a lot of the experiences I would rather do without, I realize that if it were not for this knowledge and bitter experiences, for the feelings of misunderstanding, frustration and despair, I would not be where I am now.
OPENING THE DOOR OF MARCHÉ
Two years before I founded the Marché Toddler class, I started to produce language materials and supplementary cards for materials in Czech, which lead the child’s imagination from the concrete to the abstract. My innate creativity filled a gap in the market. It happened gradually, first I created them for my own needs – for my son, and later to facilitate the work of other moms and teachers. Somehow it made more sense to me that he learned something while playing with me, rather than to just push toy cars around. This way Marché was originally created.
During the 5 years I have occupied myself with the production of the educational cards, many new beginnings came. I have devoted hundreds of hours to it, started three times completely from scratch, before the last revision I had to take a breather for two months, many times I was tempted to pack it up and then I was trying to decide whether to go for it again. Enthusiasm has always won, thanks to the support of Maria Roth, AMI trainer for ages 3-6, with whom I worked on the development of the cards..
KEY TO THE MARCHÉ INSTITUTIONS
By this time, our younger son was two years old and it made sense to me to do a tiny family community. What was going on in the toddler classroom was fascinating. The kids were amazing, they made huge advances, the atmosphere was magical and together with my colleague Lucie Horáková we really enjoyed the work. When looking at the children, who after a few weeks were able to prepare a snack for themselves, peel a carrot, pour the soup at lunch time and wash the dishes afterwards at just two years of age, I knew that what I was doing makes sense. Children can do so much more at an early age than most people think. And you know what’s best? They incredibly enjoy it. Children’s joy of success is disarming!
WHEN YOU WANT AND NEED TO GIVE CHILDREN THE BEST
And so in September 2015 we opened a Montessori class for children of 3-6 years and at the same time an Elementary school. I like to look for other ways to achieve high quality teaching while doing an honest Montessori education the way Maria Montessori wanted it – with love and joy.
I try to pass on all the pieces of knowledge that are coming to me through education. Whether in the form of articles, presentations, photos and authentic videos on my websites of the institutions, on the Marché website, on Facebook or YouTube. I am happy when I manage to inspire other kindergartens, schools, their teachers and parents themselves.
Petra Šlencová Bílská, Marché