Studying Montessori: A former Portobello Institute student’s perspective

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Past Montessori student Stephanie McGarry Poirier has enjoyed great success since completing her course at the Portobello Institute. Here she gives us her thoughts on the course and how it helped her career:

“In 2004 I studied the Montessori Diploma with Portobello. I studied in the evening and worked in a Montessori school during the day. This gave me the perfect opportunity to gain hands on experience while studying.

I choose Portobello because of its national learning framework. It had courses all over the country, which made learning accessible. Sligo was my natural choice as I was living at home.

I did a lot of research into the Montessori curriculum prior to starting and was delighted that the tutor actually ran her own Montessori school. This gave me the confidence that she would be passionate
about the subject matter.

I studied over one year and completed all exams with distinction. I had studied in the past but I felt, with Montessori, I had found what I was looking for and I was and am very passionate about it.

After two years and a wedding, my husband and I decided to move back to Sligo. I knew this was chance to fulfill my dream of opening my own Montessori school, so in 2007 I opened La Petite Ecole Montessori.

I spent a lot of time reading Maria Montessori’s books and ensuring that I had an accurate understanding of the Montessori Ethos. We had covered a module on business on the Montessori Diploma and this gave me a great foundation stone for opening my own business.

In 2009, I won 2 awards in the Sligo Childcare Champion Awards; the 3-6 year old Champion and The overall Childcare Champion.

One of the greatest compliments that I ever received from a parent was Maria Montessori would be proud . This gave me a great affirmation that I was doing the right thing.

This year I was nominated by the parents for the National Whats on 4 Little Ones Awards .

I followed my Montessori Diploma with a Foundation Diploma in Training and Education and it is my ambition to some day facilitate the future Montessori Directresses and Directors and spread the Montessori way.”

Frank Bolger

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