About me- Heather Step the Bunny Group Teacher
It’s an honour to be in this beautiful park, in this lovely school led by a pioneer in South African Montessori history, Julia Gorham, who set up one of the first of these schools in South Africa.
I completed a BA degree in English and Psychology at Rhodes and then I obtained an Honours degree in Psychology through Unisa. I am also a qualified Montessori Teacher .
I am mom of my 5 year old son Nicky Step who previously attended the Fields Montessori and has now started big school at The Kings School. It was a special time for me to have Nicky close by during his time at the Fields and watch him unfold and blossom.
This is my third year working at the Field and Study Montessori Pre-School and each day, I learn something new from my precious Toddlers. I know for sure that lots of love, hugs, patience and full attention are the best ingredients for the Toddler’s optimum learning. I marvel at my Toddler’s ongoing growth in all area of their development and we have so much fun too. This is such a special and important time of their lives; their first experience away from home, and I find it a privilege to create that safe space for them to learn, grow, and for the first time, be away from home for a few hours.
I have a long history of working with children which probably started when I was a teenager doing holiday clubs at church every winter in high school.
I also did a bit of travelling. I went on a Camp America program for a few months in Pennyslvania having fun with kids and I learnt a lot of songs there too.
I also spent a year and a half in Taiwan teaching English as a second language to both kindergarten and primary school children. I think this experience really made me want to be a teacher. I really enjoyed the joy I experienced with the children and I enjoyed making all the materials and being creative when it came to trying to communicate a concept.
I came back to SA and did a course in early childhood development at Mondern Montessori. I got married in December 2003 and started a new marriage and a new job the very next year.
I taught at Boleng Montessori in Northriding. I started out in the preschool section for four years. We separated the maths and language areas as well as the 4-5 and 5-6 year olds and most of my focus in that time was language and teaching kids to read. It is a very rewarding process.
After that the opportunity came up to teach Grade One at the same school and I took the challenge. I spent the next four years doing that. At that school the program was quite advanced: we were even doing division in Grade One! We also divided the children up into various levels of ability and catered different worksheets for each group beginner, intermediate and advanced.
I learnt a lot from that school but probably the most important was to see how the child did with a certain approach and if it didn’t work, to try something else. It was usually a great success to go back to the Montessori material itself to explain a concept, reminding me again how conducive they are to bringing education to life.
I think that all the teaching experience in the world however, did not prepare me enough for becoming a mother finally in 2012 after a five year battle with infertility. Dealing with an infant and a toddler and being a stay at home mom for a change has certainly been a wonderful and challenging experience. I have to say I really enjoyed this time of looking at the world through a child’s eyes, despite all the tantrums, dirty nappies and potty training involved.
During this time that I was at home on one of the things I did was to blog about my experiences and I also set up South African Mom blogs which is a network joining mom bloggers across the country through the blog, social media and events.
You can read some of the posts I have written on the school here:
This post is about the history of the school and also about the Montessori method.
One of the things that really draws me to this school is the natural surroundings, and I feel very happy to enter the park with the beauty and tranquility of this perfect learning environment for young children. It creates a deep feeling of peace, love and care. This post is about that.
There is something very special about watching a child discover the world and it is a privilege to be able to be there to facilitate that.
I enjoy being part of Julia Gorham’s parenting website Children’s Kickstart as an administrator and contributing writer and sharing our experiences of creating toddler crafts as well as parenting tips.
I will give your child only the best and I look forward to a rewarding and loving relationship with your child.