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Monday, March 29, 2010

A Brief History of Me

I was born in 1943, the first child of two public school teachers. Of course, I went to local public schools. All my relatives (but not my parents) were disappointed that I was not planning to become a teacher. I was nobody's fool. I knew how wonderful my parents were. I never heard either of my parents complain about children in their classes. Yes, occasionally they would tell some amusing story about something that had happened in class, but they always spoke with affection. I could see the indifference, even dislike, most of the time in the faces of my classmates as they spoke of their teachers. Of course, I did not attend the schools where my parents taught so the opinions of my peers did not cut me personally. But why in the world should I have chosen to become a teacher? I wanted to become a veterinarian so I prepared to study pre-med in college. Then two crises occurred.

I met the administrating professor of the Ohio State Veterinary College, who showed me around and introduced me to the only two women enrolled in the school, then sixty students total. One was tall and austere, the other was built like a football
lineman. He explained to me that I was much too small to become a veterinarian, that their policy was to accept only women who were big enough to handle cows and horses. They were interested in large animal practitioners only. I felt like a small insignificant fish he had thrown back into the water with nowhere to go.

And my father suddenly died of a heart attack.

I applied my pre-med courses to a BA in Medical Technology and for ten years I worked in hospitals, usually in blood banks. Then my daughter introduced me to Montessori education. I studied at Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in 1975-6 and interned under the wise Margaret Keyser and the prodigious Katherine Kenneth. I have taught at Montessori schools in Lake Forest, Illinois, Alameda, California, and Chicago, Illinois.

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