Mary Morris 
Lead Montessori Guide, Montessori Academy at Sharon Springs

Mary Morris, Lead Montessori Guide at Montessori Academy at Sharon Springs, has always had a passion for educating children. She was a special education teacher at a local public school and devoted herself to teaching her own children at home. As her career journey shows, Montessori philosophies have driven her desire to help children reach their full potential even before her role as a Lead Montessori Guide.

Mary describes her introduction to Montessori philosophies in practice, saying, “I had read about Montessori education years ago, while homeschooling my older children. I used as many principles as possible, but was unable to place my children in a Montessori school throughout those years. I eventually returned to teaching special education in public school.”

Despite the setback, Mary found herself drawn back to Montessori philosophies. She would later make a decision to leave special education at her public school and begin the search for new opportunities in early childhood development. “About 10 years ago, I decided to move on from that area of education, knowing I had not found my ‘niche’. In my heart of hearts, I knew I needed to become a Montessori educator.” And Mary was well on her way to becoming one.

She interviewed with a few schools for introductory positions and found herself considering an offer to teach for one of them. However, moments before Mary committed to one of the schools, Montessori Academy at Sharon Springs reached out to her. “I was five minutes away from signing a contract with another school when I received the call from MASS, asking me to reconsider my decision. An hour later, I had signed an agreement to begin my training at MASS the following week… That opportunity came quite unexpectedly, but I have not looked back since.”

So her path through Montessori Academy at Sharon Springs began. Mary started as an intern for a lower elementary classroom. One year later she would become a co-guide for another lower elementary classroom. After all her hard work, Mary was offered a position as a Lead Montessori Guide. She remained in that role for several years, and is currently working on a new, formal tutoring program, serving students from kindergarten to 8th grade.

Reflecting on her current responsibilities, Mary says, “I am able to use my training to help children become more successful with their language skills (reading and writing). It is very rewarding to teach children to read, help them understand what they’ve read, and guide them to becoming good writers.”

Mary continues to devote her time and energy to serving her students, and has attended multiple teacher-trainings to ensure she is providing children with the best education practices possible. Mary attributes her ability for continued education in her field to the help that the Endeavor Support Team has offered her. “Endeavor has always believed in me and been willing to give me support to grow. I’ve been able to attend an AMS conference, in addition to classes to aid in my understanding of children with challenges, academically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally.”

“Endeavor has also supported me through Orton-Gillingham courses, morphology and testing. I will be working on my practicum to become a certified Orton-Gillingham instructor beginning in the fall.” Looking back on her career journey and her experiences with Montessori philosophies inside and outside the classroom, Mary explains the growth she has seen in her life. “I’ve changed as a person, as an educator, as a friend, a mother and daughter. This change has come about gradually from my Montessori training and a deeper understanding of children and their value for our society and world. I’ve always trusted my instinct. Becoming a Montessorian has stretched me. I am doing my best to become a better person.”