My first Montessori School

For this first post, I would like to tell you about the beginnings of my journey in Montessori education. Because as I realized later, it is a path, and this pedagogy also makes you evolve as a parent, and then as a human being. However, this path is not original, it was like so many others that of a parent of a student in a Montessori school.

From Public School to Montessori

It took me many years and many detours to get to my current professional situation. 

When I left high school and then higher education, I was (gently) mocking some of my friends who were planning to stay in education. You know, the cliché of the teacher who never left school. And here I am back now!

Another certainty that shattered: to all those who wanted to hear it, I proclaimed that I was a child of the public school, and that never, ever would my children go to private school! I must say that I spent a very happy youth at the Collège Valéri (not Valéry, he was the former owner of the place before it became a collège) then at the lycée du Parc Impérial in Nice, which was nevertheless a “great lycée of 3000 students … it must be said that at the end of the year, when some teachers were absent, we could go out and go to the beach before returning … what definitely leaves good memories. And as I have always been a rather good student, this has not prevented me from finding my way well balanced between going out and working regularly.

In short, if during my studies I regularly gave courses in history, geography, economics or even French or philosophy, I never really thought of myself as a teacher !

And by the way, this is still the case.

Looking for alternative educational proposals

It was by the very classic, very usual way for the moment, that I returned to school: that of the parent.

When my eldest daughter reached the age of two, with her mother we were very involved as parents in alternative proposals: home birth, long-term breastfeeding, intensive carrying, co-sleep, etc.

We “naturally” tried to find out more about alternative educational proposals: Steiner, Montessori, Freinet, Decroly … I can assure you that at the time (that’s it again, I’m doing my old crumbling old man) Montessori was considered a cult! I had also found old articles on the Solar Temple (who remembers?), some of which mentioned Montessori schools (some parents had to attend them, without it coming from the school in question).

In short, nothing to do with the current situation where Montessori pedagogy is considered by some to be too strict!

The Montessori school in Lyon, a dream school

And there, a little “miracle” happened, one day at the bakery downstairs: a small leaflet announcing the open doors of the Montessori school in Lyon, which Françoise Neri, the headmistress of the school that lived nearby, had just left.

When we visited the school that day, we thought: impossible, it’s a dream school! Besides, it doesn’t look that much like a school! And the team seems so friendly, and especially respectful of children! There were also parents, who described their experience in this school better than anyone else, and made them furiously envious. In short, when we came out we said to ourselves: no more need to search, it will be here and nowhere else!

Or how all of a sudden all my previous certainties about “public”, free school etc., have been shattered. First lesson, never say never….