Dream big and you will get to where you need to be

Have you always dreamed of a career working with children, but are not sure what path to follow? Current Portobello Institute student Frankie Cullen is about to start her third year in the BA (hons ) in early childhood studies, but starting out a few years ago when she was doing her Leaving Certificate, she was not sure how to go about achieving her dream.

“I knew I wanted to do something with children but I wasn’t sure on what level,” she said. “I didn’t want to jump straight on to a degree straight out of school so I decided to complete a Level 5 childcare course first. This was just the starting point for me as I got a real hunger for the early years sector. The progression onto a Montessori Level 6 course at Portobello Institute was a great choice for me, as throughout the course I started to get a further interest in early childhood and development and through the encourage from my tutors I made the brave but exciting choice to undertake a degree in early childhood studies.

"Now, going into my third year, I am delighted with my choice. I am where I never thought possible. Portobello have been and still are my backbone.”

So what is the Montessori method?

Portobello Institute understands children are dynamic, natural, learners. By observing young children, Maria Montessori came to understand what was holding these children back – adult interference. She realised: “The child's mind is not the type of mind that the adults possess.”

Freedom is the single most important factor in allowing children to develop as spontaneous, creative, individuals. Maria Montessori’s early learning was that, just like a young child learning to walk, or holding a kitten, children gain knowledge best from the 'learning by doing' approach as opposed to the conventional sit, listen, read, and then learn.

'Learning by doing' is in essence the philosophy a Montessori teacher follows when guiding a child’s development in the Montessori Institute. It is this Montessori philosophy that Portobello Institute follows when guiding students through this stimulating and enlightening course. With 30 years' experience in delivering, researching, and developing a Montessori teacher training course that follows and interprets the values that Maria Montessori prescribed in the 1900s, and that is now known as the Montessori method, learners will leave with the skills and mindset to become excellent Montessori teachers.

Portobello Institute’s Montessori teaching course will change the way you view the process by which children learn, and their inherent ability to concentrate and grasp a complex subject when given the time and freedom to do so. Integrated into this programme are the principles set down by Siolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education, and Aistear: the Framework for Early Learning.

Portobello Institute will hold an open day on Thursday September 21 from 5pm to 7pm in the Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway. For further information about Montessori and special needs courses starting this autumn, call Jennifer on 01 892 0040 or visit www.portobelloinstitute.ie

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