Jul 27, 2007

the puppeteer speaks

Meg's name badge

I think it's about time to properly introduce myself. When I first started this blog back in January, it was intended to be a resource for Montessori teachers like myself. I had envisioned creating a space to share ideas and techniques for making didactic material - in other words, a resource bank devoid of a personal story. I was simply to act as a puppeteer behind stage.

Um, hello there. I'm the puppeteer. And I'm ready to peek my head from behind the curtain and give a timid wave. You see, this blog has grown into much more than a collection of resources. This is thanks to you, my wonderful readers. You are not only Montessori teachers, but mothers, homeschooling families and craft enthusiasts as well. You might not be Montessorians by education or training, yet we share much in common. We are passionate about the handmade. We are champions of childhood. And so I extend to all of my readers a warm embrace of friendship. I'll be putting more of myself into the blog from now on. No more puppeteering. Just lil' ol' me, communicating my ideas, creations, thoughts, dreams, and hopes to my readers ... my friends.

Here are six random facts to help you get to know me better:

1.) I was a Montessori child. I attended a Montessori preschool and kindergarten. My teacher, Mary Jane, became my my friend and yoga teacher in my late teens. We remain in contact and I hold her in high esteem. She is one of the reasons why I decided to pursue Masters degree in Montessori education. I guess I've come full circle.

2.) I am an INFJ on the Myers-Briggs personality indicator test. Apparently, it's the most rare of the personality types. It does describe me pretty well. However, I am not a psychic, and I don't purport that I bear any resemblance to other supposed INFJs, such as Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. Ha. Double ha.

3.) Music is another of my passions. Vocal music, to specify. My mom says that as soon as I could talk, I was singing. I was so fortunate to grow up in a community that supported the arts - my high school had (and still has) and incredible Chamber Choir. Check out this link to listen. We sang some really fun and challenging pieces. My senior year we toured Europe. I don't know if there's anything more otherworldly beautiful than sixteen gawky teenagers creating such complex, emotional melodies.

4.) I love animals. I'm not just "a crazy cat lady." If my family would let me, I would take in any animal - dog, cat, rabbit, horse, iguana - and give it a happy home. My two cats are, predictably, very spoiled.

5.) I live in rural Mexico. Why? Many of you have asked. My grandfather is Mexican, and I was curious to find out more about my heritage. My husband, Patrick, has a passion for history, and especially Latin American history. In fact, he's planning to get his PhD in the subject when we return to the US. We thought, "Why not spend several years in a Latin American country to learn the language and have a few adventures before having children?" It worked out great. I found this job at a one-room Montessori school, and Patrick continues to work for the DC-based organization, Just Foreign Policy, from the comfort of our home. We've both learned so much from the Mexican people, and my students have taught me more than any Masters degree ever could have. Our time here is running short, however. Patrick is already applying to graduate school, and as soon as this next school year is over, we will be heading back to the US.

6.) We don't have children yet, but we are looking forward to it! We're beginning to lay a foundation for a family. I'm looking to attend the Montessori Assistants to Infancy course in 2009. Another key element is figuring out how to be able to stay at home with our children while my husband is racking in the big bucks as a grad student with a measly stipend. Here's my plan, and you folks will play an important role in its success - I'm going to create a collection of sewing patterns for sale! Also, in answer to many of your queries, I will be selling some of my original creations once we move back to the states. It just can't be done while living here - we have zero confidence in the postal service.

That's it for me, now it's your turn! I would love to know who you are, so leave a comment or shoot me an email at montessorirevolution@gmail.com. And thank you for being such a warm, supportive, and motivating community. Really, you are wonderful.



M said...

Thank you for introducing yourself...I just found your blog yesterday, but would be forever grateful for your patterns. You are amazing. Thank you.

Katherine in TX said...

Thanks for introducing yourself. I found your blog a few weeks ago and have been subscribed ever since. Your blog is such a feast for the eyes. My husband is an amateur photographer and really enjoys your photos.

I'm a home educator of 5 children and have recently been incorporating Montessori resources. Well, it started out that way, but I'm beginning to get hooked and am slowly transitioning more than I originally anticipated. After teaching my children at home for the past 7 years, I can't believe it's taken me this long to discover Maria Montessori.

I look forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing your talents.

Sarah said...

Hi Meg,

It's great to hear more about your life. I was introduced to your blog back in March and have been checking it religiously ever since. I too was a Montessori child, through third grade, and I just completed my AMI primary training in Portland, OR and recently returned from Loyola and am busy writing papers to finish my Masters degree. It seems we have a lot in common, I too have fealt many times that I've come full circle and am so thankful for it. I also am starting my first year in the classroom in a few weeks and have been busily trying to make about half a classroom full of materials on little to no budget. Your blog is such an inspiration, please keep it up!!!

Wendy said...

I'm glad I found you. You're on my Google reader! And thanks for the introduction. Reading blogs is sort of a strange thing, especially at the beginning of the relationship.

It's weird because it is an actual relationship you're forming and sometimes it's hard to determine how much of yourself to put out there. What I like about the blogs I read is how people really do put themselves into what they write. You not only get to see what crafts they're making, but you also get to meet them as people. And I think that's good. It creates an actual connection and helps make the world a more cohesive place (in my humble opinion).

As for me, I'm an INFP (although not strong in either the I or the P- I definitely have both Extroverted and Judging tendencies) I have 4 kids and a fabulous man and am working to make my creativity pay some bills.

I make aromatherapy necklaces under the business name Wisdom of the Moon, but my blog is rarely about that, it's more about who I am, what I do and what's important to me. I love how much knowledge we 'homemakers' have and it's wonderful how we've learned to share it. When you look at that word objectively, you realize how appropriate it is. Everything I do here, helps to make our home, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. And I really like seeing how other people are doing it themselves.

One final thought, have you looked into selling your patterns on Etsy or do you plan to sell them directly yourself? I'm sure you know about Etsy, but if you don't, you've got to head over there. It's so fun. www.etsy.com

Anonymous said...

Well I shuold introduce myself - I just found your blog last week or so and keep coming back for the lovely childhood ideas and the photos! I look forward to more!

Anonymous said...

hello meg, nice intro!
anyhow, you got drawn in my PIF giveaway so i will be making and sending something your way soon. Will you email me your mailing address please? it's kwoozy at gmail dot com. thanks for playing!

Susanne said...

How nice to hear from you something personal. I'm forever amazed at what you create.

Melissa said...

I also just found your blog recently, and I've been reading posts from your archives because I just can't get enough of your delightful ideas. I think you would do well selling patterns and already-made goodies...you are obviously very talented and full of joy, and I look forward to reading more and more!

Lindart said...

Hi Meg! I too am a Californian, but I've lived in Canada for the past 37 years. I've been teaching Montessori since 1982, and bought my school in 1989. I'm always looking for beautiful things for my classroom, and you are full of wonderful ideas. I have my fabrics ready to sew for the ties for the Spindle Boxes, I've tried many things over the years, I think this one might finally be the one! I love checking your blog! I am also an artist, and have a blog of my own, which you are welcome to look at. Nothing Montessori in it, however!

kim said...

A friend just sent me your link.
I just completed a Montessori training program in Sunnyvale, CA. I will be going back home and doing my practicum in Park City. This winter I will start a yoga training course.
I look forward to reading and learning. I will pass this link along to my fellow Montessori students.

Meg McElwee said...

Thank you all for your kind words. I feel all warm and fuzzy!

Jennifer said...

I just discovered your blog through Sweetness and Light... and what a blessing. I am a homeschooling mom, now, but prior to becoming a traveling family, my oldest two attended a wonderful island Montessori school in BC - and I ran the school as president. It was the prefect introduction to the Mont. Method and to a gentler way of educating our children.
And now, with your site, I have so many wonderful ideas that I can add to our homeschooling life... no more despair at having given up the school!

Meredith said...

Well, since Jennifer mentioned me, I'll pop in here too!! I am Meredith from Sweetness and Light and a converting home educating Montessorian. I just love your beautiful blog and photos and all that you have to share. I also have a love of sewing and want to incorporate some of your beautiful ideas into our Montessori materials! Thanks for peeking out from behind the curtain!! Many blessings!

kittee said...

Hi Meg,
I was invited to read your blog a few months ago, I think you found me on myspace. I too am a Montessori child, I attended two schools, from 2-6 y.o. I attended the AMI Washington Montessori Institute and finished up my Masters at Loyola, back in '98. I taught in a primary classroom for three years, and then moved to New Orleans. I gave up on my Montessori world when I moved here, I was never able to find a school that followed the Montessori principles that I believe in. It's now been six years since we've moved. I miss the prepared classroom so much. I hope one day to find my way back. I love reading your blog and your craft projects, and especially love the materials you make for your own classroom.


Bettsi McComb said...

Hi Meg! I stumbled here through Amy's comment about your review of her book. I think the patterns you have planned sound great! It's been years since I took the Kiersy personality test, but if I recall correctly, I am an INFJ too. Often misunderstood too! I am enjoying the blog and looking forward to those patterns!