Founding a Montessori school is an enormous undertaking and often reflects the lives and experiences of the founder. Twin Cities International Bilingual Montessori, opening this spring in Edina, is one of those schools.
Lishi Vesely grew up an only child in China, and in a climate in which school was about getting on a track to make a living, not pursuing a passion. Her corporate career brought her to meet her husband (who is Czech). When they started a family, Lishi felt intuitively that the early years of childhood are important, and began to educate herself about early childhood education and language acquisition. Her research brought her to Montessori and after observing in a Toddler Community, she knew that Montessori was what she wanted for her children.
After her first child was enrolled in a Montessori school, Lishi remained fascinated with the pedagogy. She continued learning more on her own and even using her son’s teacher as a resource. ”I was a pain for my son's guide" she says jokingly, "I had many questions as I really wanted to understand the underlying system". The more she learned, the more she was deeply moved by how the Montessori approach supports the development of the “Whole Child.” Meanwhile, Lishi went back to work, but says she felt she was living "conflicting lives". Her professional life wasn't allowing her the time she wanted with her children, and she was yearning to do work she felt was meaningful and contributed to society. She finally decided to leave behind her successful career to become a Montessori educator with a dream to start a Bilingual Montessori school.
After years of training (while raising two very young children), Lishi now holds her AMI A to I (0-3) and Primary (3-6) diplomas and is in the final stages of preparing her school environment. While Lishi is passionate about creating a Montessori community, she's even more passionate about it being a bilingual Montessori environment. Raising two young children in a home where three languages are spoken (English, Chinese, Czech), Lishi has witnessed first-hand the manifestation of the powerful sensitive period of language development. Lishi's vision is to create an environment where more children have the opportunity to acquire a second language and benefit from the rich gifts of that experience. On her website, she shares a Czech proverb: "Those who know many languages live as many lives as the languages they know."
Currently, she is accepting application for the Children's House environment. There will be two AMI-certified primary guides leading the environment, one of them being a native Chinese speaker who will exclusively speak with children in Chinese throughout the day. Lishi will assist as needed, while focusing on her new Big Work of running the school and opening the Toddler Community later in 2018.
Twin Cities International Bilingual Montessori
Lishi Vesely, Founder
7375 Bush Lake Road
Edina, MN 55439
Source: MN Montessori News - February 2018