7 years ago my life changed forever and there has been no looking back. I commenced my journey into the magical world of Montessori and even today, not a day goes by when I don’t refer back to my training at RTI. It is still so fresh in my mind; all the books we read, all the practical and psychology studies and, most importantly, all of Zarin Aunty’s anecdotes.
Through this very prestigious AMI Diploma, I have had the wonderful opportunity to work in environments in Mumbai, Shanghai and now London. Yes, every country brings with it a new culture and a whole new set of challenges but there is one common thread – All children love the same, no matter the country or language .
I fondly recall two moments when, though not completely certain, I went with my gut and words fall short when expressing what I experienced when I witnessed the results many months later.
One of these incidents took place when I was teaching in India. A two and a half year old shy girl joined our class and all she did was stand in a corner and watch everyone else carry out their work. On trying every way possible to invite and engage her in the different activities in class and finding myself failing miserably, I was reminded of an anecdote that was narrated to us during my training by, Suneeta Aunty. She had a student who did absolutely nothing for almost a year and one fine day, he walked in and was carrying out activities as though he’d been practicing them all that while. This, she said, was the beauty of Montessori. As a fairly new teacher with very little experience to fall back on and almost doubting myself as an educator, I sought comfort in the memory of this story. And right enough, my patience paid off. In her second year back at school, it was as though, this little, shy girl had soaked in all that she had been silently observing the past year. She worked her way through all the activities in the environment devouring them completely and sending me in a complete tizzy.
Something quite similar took place during my time in China. We had been working so hard to help a boy strengthen his ability to concentrate, to be more self-confident and to take on challenges but somehow we just weren’t able to draw him to anything that would ignite his interest. And one day, out of nowhere, he found solace in the flower arrangement activity. He spent almost a Semester, first mastering it himself with remarkable focus and then going on to confidently present it to his classmates with such pride. It was as though the final piece in the puzzle had been put together. Soon he was able to carry out advanced Arithmetic and Language activities and just like those flowers he had arranged, he had blossomed!
How marvellous, then, is this quote from the Absorbent Mind that holds true for so many of us constantly endeavouring in the field of education- ‘To serve the children is to feel one is serving the spirit of man, a spirit which has to free itself. The difference of level has truly been set not by the teacher but by the child. It is the teacher who feels she has been lifted to a height she never knew before. The child has made her grow till she is brought within his sphere.’
Dear Zarin Aunty,
I think of you often and want to thank you for being such an excellent teacher of the Montessori method. Through you, I feel, I have truly understood what Montessori education is all about. Everyday is a learning day in the class room for me. And each day something I do in the class reminds me that I need to do it better, or that it was not the Montessori way of doing it. I realise how hard it is to be a true Montessorian, as it requires the discipline of a soldier, the focus of a monk, the soul of a kind person, the observing eyes of an unassuming learner, the intelligence of a knowledge bearer, and the respect of a person in awe of the child; it is a marvellous standard to achieve.
You have shown the path, now I hope I can sincerely follow it with no pride or regret. Keep alive, keep retrieving and keep finding the Montessori ‘atma’ you spoke of once during the lecture.
I cherish you. Thank you.
Shalini Rani (Batch 2014 – 2015)
Dear Zarin Aunty,
Very rarely we acknowledge the role of people who shape us and mould us and help us to find ourselves in that process.Today, as we stand holding my head held high, I cannot help but bow down to the teacher who has made what I am. I would like to sincerely thank you for all the efforts and the patience you have shown in transforming me from an (aimless adult) into a responsible and focused person.
I shall be grateful for all the things I have learnt from you.
With sincere thanks for everything.
Heena Kothari (2012 – 2013 Batch)
You think you have done it all; school, college, work…. but there’s always something missing. That’s how I felt. Being a teacher before, I thought I was doing everything right, I thought I knew children, I thought I knew the child. I was wrong. And I am glad I was. The AMI Montessori Training Course at Sir Ratan Tata Institute – Mumbai was one of the best decisions I made. Yes it was strenuous and nerve-wracking but it was definitely worth every single effort and struggle. I came out of the course with a great amount of satisfaction & an even greater amount of understanding as to who the child really is and what we can do to ‘assist’ in his total development. Because at the end of the day, its about fulfilling the cosmic task of maintaining equilibrium in our world, and what better way to be a part of this beautiful design than to aid in shaping the young mind.
Jenell Fonseca (Batch 2015-2016)
No words can express my gratitude to Zarin aunty who brought alive the philosophy of Maria Montessori in our life and making me a part of Montessori Community.
It was during my visit to Canada, for my son’s admission to university, that I heard about Montessori schools and that RTI in Mumbai was one such training center which offered Montessori training in India.
When I took the admission in the course I was so sure that it would be easy and interesting for me as I had coached my children in their academics till XIIth standard. I thought I already knew the art of teaching.
When the course commenced Zarin Aunty’s lectures left me perplexed as they revealed the facts which defied all age old beliefs and patterns of not only teaching but looking at a child also. The way this course is delivered is really commendable, as it gradually changes your mind frame. Feeling a transformation in yourself, you start seeing child as an individual with his rights and not an extension of your personality. From masters we become “Directresses” ready to help child become not only learned but also a confident, caring and a responsible being.
The course is so well planned under Zarin Aunty that your each and every day is well utilized and at the end of the course you feel that without her efforts you would never have achieved so much in eight months. Her boundless energy catches up with you also. However big may be the batch but she has a direct connection with each student and pushes each one of us to follow our goal. I relish the relationship which developed with our Correctors who were a great source of motivation and timely guidance.
I would recommend this course to any adult at any stage of life as what it rewards you with is enriched relationships and an opportunity to aid children in their natural course of development.
Love and Regards
Nidhi Kochar (Batch 2015-2016)
Children’s House Assistant Course 2015 Feedback
Basically, the most important ingredient of all our responses was GRATITUDE, which rang in all our hearts because, these days together have enriched us all. We have learnt so much and many of us felt that the course was too short.
There has been a MAJOR SHIFT within us all, as we are all able to improve our understanding of the child’s world and hope to practice our knowledge with our children- be it as teachers or parents or in some cases grandchildren!!!!
We have had a great time as your delivery of the theory and practicals was done with PASSION, (for your job and children) SINCERITY and PATIENCE and FUN.
THANK YOU or MERCI BEACOUP or SHUKRIYA from ALL.
RTI Montessori Training – Assistants Course 2015 Batch
I just love the Montessori method of teaching and it truly changes your perspectives and amazingly helps you in the developmental process of your child!! It has made me more patient towards the understanding of the child.
Mahernaz J. Bengalli
All the sounds of the spoken language and the letters of the alphabet will not be able to express my gratitude.The Montessori methodology has changed my perspective and widened my horizon in more than many ways.
If I were to wish for everything, I would wish for the clock to turn back and start once again with the Montessori way.
Thanks for this wonderful experience.
This year has been one of the most memorable year in my life. I have learnt a lot experienced even more. This course has opened my eyes to a lot of things I had previously been unaware of.
This course has now become a part of my life – in terms of the friends and the memories I have of this place.
The first thing you said when the course started was that we are here together for a reason and i knew that this was where i was to be.
On this day I thank you for taking me as your student and guiding me on this wonderful path.. You have given me an objective in life…
You have been an Awesome Guru
Heartiest Bow to You
Regards & Love
Hi Zarin Aunty,
Today at the school I work in Canada, the CCMA visited as my school is applying for accredition. And all I wanted was that if Zarin Aunty stood at my door to see how her student is doing, whether she made it true after her Montessori Training or not was all I had in mind. I made sure everything in my class was like how you have told us. Just perfect and motivating for the child. And it was. That lady stood at my door for not more than 2 minutes, and said it was beautiful. I was extremely proud and I couldn’t resist sharing this with you. I feel proud to be trained under you. You have made sure that Montessori dwells in us till we die, I feel I am a true Montessorian as I try my best to live it daily with my son too…
Thank you Zarin Aunty, I really wish u stood at that door today morning…
I hope you are at the best of your health. Love and regards to everyone at R.T.I.
God bless you all
The RTI Montessori course has been life changing for me. I had read a lot about Ms. Montessori and her philosophy but the course was an eye opener. The theory helped me understand the philosophy much better than any book could. Ms. Malva’s lectures, always so passionate, moved me tremendously. The practicals, trained me to be precise and helped me perfect the art of working with children. The course prepared me in every way to start my school. I’d strongly recommend this course to parents and anyone interested in working with children.
I am deeply grateful to have had Ms. Malva as my AMI Montessori teacher trainer. The course was comprehensive and allowed me to gain an in-depth understanding of Dr. Maria Montessori’s work, child development and the scientific use of Montessori materials. It is evident that Ms. Malva’s years of experience working with young children as well as training teachers, enriched the course content even further. Ms. Malva was therefore able to provide extensive elaboration on various topics as well as answers to questions throughout the course.
Upon completing the course, I was successfully able to work in both Canada and the United States as a Montessori teacher.
It was delightful to undergo AMI Montessori training at RTI and I highly recommend Ms. Malva without any reservations. ~ Saira Ladak
I completed my course and received my AMI diploma (3 to 6+ years) in 2010 from RTI, Mumbai. The training provides practical guidance for conducting Montessori teaching as a scientific approach that leads to true natural development in children.It presents the ideas of Montessori’s philosophy and practice in a very clear and understandable manner. The program has really opened my eyes and has helped me to understand and respect each child’s needs. The directress Ms.Zarin Malva is so passionate about the Montessori philosophy herself that it is a treat to learn under her guidance. I am currently teaching at Aditya Birla World Academy, Mumbai and I can only tell you that this course has been a great asset to me. This program provided me with an enriched experience that I will always carry with me throughout my teaching career.In every way, this Diploma has met and exceeded my expectations – in its professionalism, its commitment to its students, and its approach to the materials. I would highly recommend this program to everyone (Teachers & Parents), and cannot wait to enroll myself for the AMI Diploma (0 to 3 years). ~ Anushree Godha Doshi
The Montessori approach has been an instrumental part of Aseema’s journey. It is always a delight to sit in the classroom of a well trained teacher and observe the sensitivity and grace with which she works with the children. Our children have gained tremendously from this philosophy as well as from the excellent material that aids their learning. We have been truly inspired by this approach and hope to see many more people train and learn its efficacy. ~ Sanaa
As far as the RTI training course goes, I only have praises for it. I have enjoyed being a part of the training and have met wonderful people and made life long friends. The practical approach undertaken by you and the trainers is absolutely essential and important.You are an inspiration and have always encouraged us to stretch our boundaries and do our best.
I worked in a school in London but had no difficulty finding a job and could easily adapt to the working environment over here.
The hard work and dedication of the staff are a great help because they take you through a challenging syllabus in a very systematic, practical and thorough way. The assignments, the practicals classes together with the teaching practice are priceless and make this course totally worth it. ~ Thanks and Regards, Shriya
Teaching has always been one of my passions and deciding on Montessori Teaching was a decision well taken. Previously to teaching, I was an education beat journalist. I visited a Montessori school for my assignment. It was very impressive. But it was so markedly unlike playschools – playful, noisy, chaotic, and bright that it was almost disconcerting. The Montessori environment was quiet although clearly happy and engaged children busy with quiet activities and all seeming more mature than their age. It was absolutely joyful to see them in “work attitude” rather than the usual “play attitude” and that the children enjoy the time spent. I then had a career switch here. I knew this is the kind of teaching (education) I would like to learn, appreciate and reach out to many more young minds. At R.T.I Montessori Training, Ms. Zarin Malva is an excellent trainer to get trained under. She truly inspires me to follow Montessori league and benefit the society. This course requires inner dedication and passion towards children to understand and value Montessori philosophy. It completely changes one’s views and prejudices towards children, not only as a Montessori teacher but personally too. Someday when I’m a parent, I’m sure to enjoy the parenthood with open arms, the Montessori way. Thank you Zarin Aunty for this inner joy. ~ Love and Regards, Samidha Bagwe Magu
I completed my course and received my AMI diploma (3 to 6+ years) in 2010 from RTI, Mumbai. The training provides practical guidance for conducting Montessori teaching as a scientific approach that leads to true natural development in children.It presents the ideas of Montessori’s philosophy and practice in a very clear and understandable manner. The program has really opened my eyes and has helped me to understand and respect each child’s needs. The directress Ms.Zarin Malva is so passionate about the Montessori philosophy herself that it is a treat to learn under her guidance. I am currently teaching at Aditya Birla World Academy, Mumbai and I can only tell you that this course has been a great asset to me. This program provided me with an enriched experience that I will always carry with me throughout my teaching career.In every way, this Diploma has met and exceeded my expectations – in its professionalism, its commitment to its students, and its approach to the materials. I would highly recommend this program to everyone (Teachers & Parents), and cannot wait to enroll myself for the AMI Diploma (0 to 3 years). – Anushree Godha Doshi
This Montessori course for me did not just teach me activities to present to the child. It taught me to understand and respect the child. It taught me patience and made me realise that there’s no place for ego between the adult and the child. Taught me that everyday and every moment is as much a discovery for me as for the child!
Taught me how paying attention to little details and little signals from the child can make a huge difference! Thank you so much for giving me a tool that helped me get closer to happiness 🙂
I think of you often aunty and my respect and admiration for you has grown over these two years. Thank you for all that you shared with me!
~ Love, Haripriya
I thoroghly enjoyed my time at the RTI Montessori course. Although intense at times, I found the course extremely pragmatic in approch and a tremendous value-add as I was able to readily apply the principles taught in the programme to my career as a Montessori adult. I strongly reccomend this course as it instills and enhances the values that should be imbibed in today’s young children.
~ love and regards, trishna pandya
I have known Zarin Malva in the world of Montessori for the past forty-three years. She is both an amazing and gifted teacher and instructor in an educational system that helps to develop children mentally, creatively, emotionally, and has great rapport with both her students and fellow teachers. ~ Amy Adams
I am a Sri Lankan and have now been teaching as a Montessori Teacher for 12 years first in Singapore and then in Hong Kong. Soon me and my family are emigrating to Canada. I trained under Miss Zarin Malwa for a year. During that time she made our lectures fun and interesting. We were never afraid to ask her questions, because she’s a very approachable person. I remember being a foreigner, arriving in a strange land, with no friends, and Miss Malwa took me under her wing and even now after all these years I’ll never forget her warmth and kindness. ~ S. Dilini Kimmanthudawa Batch of April 2000
I had the pleasure of having Zarin Malva as my Montessori teacher years ago and feel honored to still know her. Her commitment to the Montessori method is remarkable. She instructs with care, dedication and precision in a nurturing environment. She appreciates the importance of the Montessori philosophy in the development of young children. Montessori encourages organization, analysis and inquisitiveness and Zarin recognizes and supports the philosophy. I would strongly recommend Zarin Malva to anyone interested in Montessori. ~ Dr. Allison Adams
I studied the Montessori Method of teaching 6 years back and since then I am a changed person. This method of teaching has evolved me into a new being with greater responsibilities towards the children, a better sense of understanding of their needs and a renewed faith in them. It has made me more humble and grounded. It’s now easier for me to accept my mistake and be sorry without feeling bad about it and without any EGO.
I practiced Montessori with children for 2 years and was sometimes amazed at how much they could understand or memorize with not much effort from our end. And now with my own child about to step in to this world I am not apprehensive or scared about dealing with his/her needs. I don’t have to read books by ‘unknown’ authors to know how to respond to the behaviour of my child.
Since the Montessori Method is based upon the principle that the child, and not the teacher, is the constructor of man and so of the society, I came to realise that Education is not what the teacher gives, but it is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences upon the environment. This increases our responsibilities manifold. ~ Tayeba
Montessori has really helped me a lot in my practical approach wth my child. I was 3 months pregnant when I completed my course in 2010. Now I am doing a lot of EPL activity wth my child. I can see the difference in her and her friends. My daughter is far more independent than others. Thanx a lot for sharing all the knowledge and Montessori philosophy with us. ~ Regards, Sheetal Mehta.