Dear parents,

If you are reading this, you have already started on a Montessori journey alongside your child. Congratulations! This will be a journey through which you will find deepened appreciation for and understanding of your child, many opportunities for self-reflection and self-bettering, and, despite the seemingly endless struggles that comes with parenting, endless joy. The best part is, you will see a human being that is ever independent, ever confident, ever compassionate, ever curious, ever joyful, and always eager to learn. This person will grow little by little in the best version of him/herself right in front of your eyes. Once on this journey, you will never look back.

I, like many of you, was introduced to Montessori through my first child. While looking for a child care for our son, my husband and I stumbled upon the Montessori education method. When I first read Owner’s Manual for a Child, I was almost in tears. This was from my child, who was not yet talking let alone writing. Yet, this letter was from him.

The more we educated ourselves, the more deeply we resonated with the Montessori philosophy. Having learned that the Montessori name is not protected by a trademark, and any school could call itself a “Montessori school”, we knew that we wanted an authentic Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Montessori education for our son. However, we were surprised and disappointed to see that only a few AMI-accredited Montessori schools were available to the broader community in the Southwest Twin Cities.

Slowly, yet steadily, my desire to become involved in Montessori education grew. After our second child was born, I finally made a life altering decision to forever bury my CPA credential, forego the corporate past, and become a Montessori educator. And soon after, the idea of Twin Cities International Bilingual Montessori School (TCI Bilingual Montessori) was born. I set on the quest to go back to school and obtain AMI diplomas for two age levels from world renowned Montessori trainers: ages 0 to 3 (Assistants to Infancy) diploma from Judi Orion and Karey Lontz in Denver, and ages 3 to 6 (Primary) diploma from Molly O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul. It was among the hardest years of my life having to balance between attending to two young children at home (my then 7-months old daughter even spent an entire summer with me in Denver!) and completing the strenuous course requirements. Yet it was also the most rewarding. The comprehensiveness as well as the rigor of the year-long trainings added for me a new dimension of respect for AMI-certified guides (having passed CPA exams and worked for Big 4 in public accounting, I hardly considered anything “rigorous”!). What touched me even more deeply is the utmost level of commitment to children in this community. It is my inspiration to carry on this commitment for the benefit of all children at TCI Bilingual Montessori, and reflect this commitment in every component of the school, from handpicked staff who consider education of children not just a job, but a passion, to each piece of material carefully chosen in preparation for a beautiful and developmentally appropriate environment.

Language is another area dear to my heart. Having understood the language acquisition in young children and having seen our own children flourish in their language skills from a young age, effortlessly switching among three languages depending on the audience they speak to, I am ever more convinced that bilingualism or multilingualism is one of the best gifts parents can give to their children. As the Czech proverb goes: “Those who know many languages live as many lives as the languages they know”. While the unique makeup of my family happens to provide the opportunity of immersing our children in multiple languages, I understand that this is nearly unattainable for many monolingual families. I am excited and honored to help you with providing an incredible opportunity for your child to become a true bilingual while receiving an authentic Montessori education.

There are many methods of early childhood education. While I invite all families to study and consider Montessori education for your children, I understand that other methods may resonate better with some of you. The mission of TCI Bilingual Montessori is to build a community of families who are dedicated to foster the development of the “whole child” through authentic Montessori education in a bilingual setting. This does not mean that we only admit families who are already familiar with the Montessori approach of education, but we do expect that you are supportive of raising your child using this philosophy, and you have a desire to continue learning how to best support your child. An important starting point to determine whether our offering is a good fit for your family is to carefully read through our website. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

I feel so fortunate to have found Montessori for my children, and I look forward to walking with you, no matter the distance, on your unique journey.

Yours sincerely,

 

Lishi

Founder, Head of School