Being a Montessori child has definitely changed and shaped me as a person

Rhea Chhabra (Grade 12 Graduating Class of 2019)
Student of Head Start from 2004 to 2019

As a student of Head Start from the age of 2, I have watched the school transform itself completely. Being a Montessori child has definitely changed and shaped me as a person. Montessori is so different from other forms of education. From the very beginning, I have been around all sorts of people of different ages, personalities, and ideologies. As a child who has grown up in Head Start, I see the people here as a family. The atmosphere is completely different from the usual work environment. Till the Fourth Grade, we learnt things like simple mathematics using materials. Learning became more like a competitive game with the use of materials like the Peg Board. Classes were not full of just one age group - at all times, we had a mixed set of ages learning together which is one of the reasons why I now get along well with just about anybody I meet; whether they’re a couple of years younger or older, it doesn’t make any difference to the dynamic of my friendship with them.

During my Primary years, I never felt like I was going to school and “studying”- It was something I looked forward to immensely. The bond that I’ve made with the people in my class is unbreakable. We’ve been together for 12 years already and I know that friendships like these are rare. The best thing this school has given me would be my friends and my set of values which are now ingrained into me. The Montessori way of learning changes your whole outlook to education. Where others saw difficult problems, I saw simple solutions.

I’ve spent over 15 years in Head Start and I wouldn’t want to change those experiences and memories for anything else. I look fondly back to when we would play ‘book cricket’ between classes or run to the field every chance that we got. I think back to all the class parties we had (in secret of course) and how much trouble we got into. I think of our very last day in school and how we created a flash mob during assembly which caused everyone to start cheering. What we loved the most was our school trip to Andaman Islands where we bonded the most. We spent a full week together diving, going to beaches, seeing the Cellular Jail and getting educated from outside the classroom. Head Start has always found ways to make education different and interesting.

These memories have bound me to the people and the place in a very special way, and I will never forget my days spent here. I look back at everything with a big smile on my face and I’m very grateful for everything this school has done for me.

Posted in Alumni, Class of 2019, From Our Students, Reflections.