When I think about what drew me into the creative space, I think way back to when I was three years old

Tanesha Bajaj (Grade 12 Graduating Class of 2018)
Student at Head Start from 2002 to 2018
Sophomore at Savannah College of Art and Design, USA

35 Years of Head Start--35. It’s been one long, successful journey at Head Start Montessori. Out of those thirty-five, I am extremely thankful to say that I was a part of Head Start for almost fifteen years of my life. These years have been some of the most incredible and filled with countless unforgettable memories. When I think about what drew me into the creative space, I think way back to when I was three years old. Head Start Montessori played a huge role in developing my personality. What stands out in an otherwise vague memory of that time, is learning things visually. I learned maths through the use of counting colourful beads. Yes, one of my first experiences with maths was adding and subtracting numbers using beads. These beads were not only colourful, but were also arranged in an organised, visually pleasing manner, with each column of beads in the bead cabinet gradually decreasing in number and changing colour as you moved your eye from left to right. Each bead was translucent and reflected its colour on the wooden surface behind it when hit by light. Sometimes, the close proximity of the beads paired with a specific angle of the rays of light from the sun would blend the reflected colours to create an additional spectrum of new ones. The bead cabinet was something I engaged myself with often during my Montessori years at Head Start. Since then, communicating visually has always been my ideal way of learning and expressing myself. Working with the different materials, the Montessori environment never put undue pressure on us to grasp concepts in a limited time period. This, along with the guidance of our always approachable teachers, allowed us to progress at our own pace and make the most of all the classroom activities. Additionally, making friends was so effortless that it made the learning experience comfortable. This individualised learning system gave us a strong foundation that has and continues to help me succeed throughout my classes in high school and in college academically, emotionally, and socially. For instance, learning to be patient with myself is one significant skill I owe to my pre-primary years. Working in the creative space, patience is crucial. This career involves a lot of trial and error, experimentation, and research in each project, so it turns out to be a long process. But, as an artist, I now understand that it’s part of the process that ultimately leads to a satisfying outcome. Looking back at all these years, I can say with pride that my Montessori education has aided the development of my personality by teaching me important life skills that have guided me throughout my life ever since. Happy 35 years!
Posted in Alumni, Class of 2018, From Our Students, Reflections.