Hello, my name is Marcia Ridolfi.
I worked with preschool aged children in a traditional setting for several years before walking into a Montessori classroom for the first time. A colleague recommended that I go observe at the local Montessori school that her own children attended.
I did not expect that this would be any different than any other preschool classroom that I had observed, but I followed her suggestion. To my amazement I witnessed children who were happy, peaceful, confident and independent. The calmness of the environment was remarkable as was the intelligence and self-reliance demonstrated by the children. I then looked around the room at the environment itself and I saw beautiful and natural materials on the shelves that were attractive and neatly organized. Children were moving about choosing an activity, carrying it to a table, and using it independently. I noticed that the adults in the environment were calm and were directing the children much less then what I was accustomed to in a traditional preschool classroom. Instead, the adults seemed to demonstrate an unusual degree of confidence in the children’s choices and abilities. The more I observed, the more I knew I was onto something important. I had to learn what it was that made this kind of child development possible. I needed to discover the secret to children who could behave like a contributing member of their community with confidence and self-respect and treat others with grace and courtesy.
My curiosity led me to take the Montessori teacher training program at Missouri Montessori Teacher Education Program in St. Louis, which I completed in 2000 to be certified as a Montessori teacher for years 3-6. Since then I have worked as both a director of that small Montessori school that I had first observed at and then several years later as a lead teacher at another Montessori School in St. Louis.
In 2013 I decided to further explore how this philosophy worked with even younger children so I obtained my Montessori certification for years 0-3 at Hope Educational Montessori Institute in Lake St Louis. Since then I have been a lead teacher in a Toddler Montessori program with children ages 18 months-3 years. To this day I am in awe of the abilities of our very youngest children.
I am so excited to be collaborating with Florence Kramer and Kate Baker to create Green Tree Montessori. I am in love with our beautiful classrooms and our lovely, natural park-like setting and I am looking forward to sharing this peaceful little community with our future students.