Even now, it amazes me how much the students at 3MM have accomplished in spite of their circumstances. After seeing their maturity and capabilities, and learning more about the Montessori philosophy, I am now certain that I do not belong in a typical classroom. I do not think I will ever be satisfied in a traditional school. In fact, as I've told others, I plan to earn my PhD - and perhaps sooner than I thought.
Reflecting on this experience and my increasing experience in our own impoverished classrooms in Buffalo, I am beginning to think that it's high time that someone with actual knowledge, experience, and passion for education needs to step up and advocate for our schools. Rather than having economists and political scientists in charge of education, we need actual educators. Hence, I am considering some type of educational lobbying for my future as well.
It is unlikely that I will return to Cabarete - simply because I want to have a variety of experiences all over the world - but I will treasure this experience always as one that has been truly life-changing and empowering. I never thought any sort of non-profit work would be for me....but now I'm not so sure. After this experience, I'm not willing to put myself in a comfortable little box. I am going to chase my dreams, go abroad again, earn my PhD,and then...who knows? But I know now that I have the strength to go after what I want, and the strength to face those who would tell me otherwise.
Thank you so much to Wendy and Tamara, El Ed, School of Ed, and Buff State for providing me with this opportunity, and the financial means to afford this experience. Regardless of whether or not I end up int he classroom, I have been so successful in the MIITC program and have grown so much that I would not wish I had gone any other way. Thank you.