WHEN Invercargill woman Cynthia Copeland talks about Montessori learning, she glows.
You can see the passion and absolute commitment to the learning method she was introduced to many years ago.
This passion will see her finally realise her dream Windsor Montessori in just a few months, allowing the tiny footsteps of 20 children aged 3-5 years to come running in.
It was while working in a law firm in Dublin, Ireland, Mrs Copeland first heard about the Montessori education system.
With her interest sparked, she undertook the training at the St Nicholas Montessori College in Dublin, while she continued to work full time. Her degree allows her to teach children up to 12 years of age.
She began her teaching career in Dublin, then Paris, before moving to New Zealand to help establish a Montessori school in Nelson.
“I moved to Invercargill with my husband and two children in 2008.
“Since then, I have taught in a variety of Invercargill preschools and kindergartens, where I have enjoyed working alongside many wonderful teachers, children and families.
“Opening up a Montessori preschool will provide the opportunity for me to continue my love of teaching within a Montessori learning environment.”
Mrs Copeland will not only be the owner and manager of the preschool teaching.
She knows the smaller setting of the preschool will support children and families to build strong relationships and develop a greater sense of belonging and community.
“We want to encourage an interest in children to learn about healthy eating and also foster an understanding around sustainable practices programme as children learn to care about themselves, their environment and beyond.
“We want to provide a warm, caring, supportive place where children love to learn.
“When children are happy they form positive images of themselves as confident, successful people and this then enables them to reach their full potential.”
Dr Maria Montessori’s observations of children led her to discover what children really needed in order to develop and learn, Mrs Copeland said.
She recognised a child’s environment played an important role in their development.
She also recognised children learned best by doing and were intrinsically motivated to learn.
“She developed beautiful learning materials that are sensory based and provide children with opportunities to discover learning through independently choosing activities that appeal to their interests and needs,” Mrs Copeland says.Anyone interested in finding out more about Windsor Montessori or wanting to pre-enrol their child in the school, should go to www.windsormontessoriinvercargill.com