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Interview with Pamela Green of Ananda Montessori

Hi friend! Today I have an AMAZING interview for you. Pamela Green is someone I have been following on Facebook and Instagram for some time. She is well known in the Montessori community and I knew she would have some great insights. I love the space she has created. It looks warm, inviting and fun!

I am so happy that she took the time to answer some questions so we can get to know her better. She is truly an inspiration for parents, guides, grandparents and really anyone who loves children. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I do. Enjoy!

Tell me a bit about yourself.

First, I would like to thank you for inviting me to share a bit about myself! It is a pleasure to be with each of you. I live in Pennsylvania, outside of the city of Erie, and along the shores of Lake Erie. Once the winter is over my husband and I spend much of our summer and fall on our sailboat, cruising the lake and sleeping on our boat. I am an identical twin.

I am a Montessori parent and grandparent, with both of our sons attending my school during their 3 - 6 years of age, and through elementary. My eldest son and daughter-in-law both trained in Montessori, and at one time they were part of my staff, along with our other daughter-in-law. Those were precious years for me, as Head of School, to travel in and out of their classrooms and observe them with the children. Our grandson now attends classes at Ananda Montessori, my Montessori Parent-Infant and Child Playgroup. So, for over 35 years Montessori has been within our family, in transformative ways.

As part of my practice as a Montessorian, I have been facilitating childbirth classes and attending births as a doula and midwife assistant, since 1989. At Ananda, classes are available for families during pregnancy and up through age six.

Can you tell us a bit about your Montessori journey?

I first entered a Montessori environment in 1981 as part of a Methods and Theories of Education class I was taking at University. Our professor chose a Montessori school to be the place that his students would go, and this visit began my initiation into Montessori. I recall walking down the steps, hearing children moving about, being greeted by many children who were walking in the hallways and into a larger room.

One child introduced herself to me, telling me her name and age and shaking my hand. She guided me into this larger room which was like entering a world of the child. I felt my heart opening as a memory of longing in me as a child was awakened; to find a place just for me. This was that place, and in fact it took me some time to realize that there were any adults present. I first heard their soft voices, down low, and saw two adults sitting on the floor, surrounded by rugs with materials on them that I longed to touch. The child holding my hand took me to her mat (this was the name she called it) and began to work with wooden cubes. Arranging these by color and shape and then placing them by rows into a box. She did not speak but was so focused. I was enchanted. Montessori enchanted me and placed me under a spell of wishing for more.

One of my closest friends at the time had her child enrolled in this school and I began to transport her to and from this House of the Child. I began to linger at drop-off and the two adults, both who became my future mentors, invited me to come join the class. The founder of the school one morning handed me a notebook and said I could use this to write down anything that I was seeing. He also handed me the book, The Absorbent Mind. My training in Montessori had begun.

For a few years I came and went from this environment and then I married, traveled to South Carolina and began work in a Montessori school from 1984 - 1986. Then I returned back to our home state, had my first baby at home, and immersed myself in motherhood. After our second child was born in 1989 I began my work in childbirth education and attending births. I also continued making my journeys to the first Montessori school where I studied, and was soon after hired there. Beginning a decade of mentorship that, for me, is when my transformative inner preparation continued in deep ways. My desire to know myself through the study of the child was so strong, and continues to be my centering point.

Over the course of these years I did enter formal Montessori training, becoming credentialed in Early Childhood and Lower & Upper Elementary. I also became Head of School in the school that began in 1981, and I stayed there until 2013.

After leaving this school I trained to become a Montessori Parent-Infant and Child Facilitator and opened Ananda Montessori. I began classes in my home and then moved into a commercial space, right in the center of my town. Ananda is now in its tenth year as a community for children and adults. I also work as a Montessori consultant, parenting mentor, and offer a variety of courses, including a six-week online course to train to become a Montessori Parent-Infant and Child Facilitator.