From misprints to Montessori: How one Dad’s career change brought professional and parental insights.

“I remember thinking one day how I’d feel telling my son what I did for a living, and saying ‘I help people have slightly nicer holidays than they otherwise would have,’ and it just didn’t seem to be enough.” For Jon Cox, this was the moment he decided that it was time to change his professional life, and transform his personal life.

The father of two from South-east London had spent over ten years working in editing, specialising in travel guides. “I’d got to that point which I’m sure is very familiar to many. Having children inevitably shifts your perspective on life, and this, added to growing dissatisfaction with my job, meant I was looking for something new to inspire and challenge me,” says Jon.

A friend’s comment one day was the final push Jon needed to start something new. “We were visiting friends one day, and I was playing with their two young girls. Their mum said, ‘You’re really good with kids. You should become a teacher.’ I had never given the idea of becoming a teacher a minute’s thought before that moment. Within a year I had become one!”

“I went on to work as a primary school teacher for around 8 years and initially loved it. But I became increasingly disillusioned by mainstream education’s emphasis on the ‘one size fits all’ approach to delivering the curriculum,” explains Jon. “The child had to fit the system rather than the system fitting the child. I worked in a succession of schools where management was devoid of vision and passion, and found myself disagreeing more and more with the methods and aims of conventional teaching.”

Jon realised that he needed something more, but didn’t know that years earlier he had encountered the answer he was looking for. “One of my sons attended a Montessori nursery. I confess I was a little hazy at the time about what that meant, but I knew my son was thriving there. Then, when I was looking for a new direction to take in my career, I once again came across Montessori.”

This time, however, Jon received an insight which would change everything. “I thought Montessori sounded promising, but then spoke with a friend of a friend who runs a Montessori nursery. She talked with such passion, and I saw such incredible results in the children at her nursery, that I was convinced this was the approach I was looking for.”

Jon started training with Montessori Centre International in September 2015 and graduated this year. He says “It was the most worthwhile and satisfying year of education in my life. The course has reignited my love for teaching and I believe passionately in Montessori’s ability to prepare children for a happy and fulfilled life. It has undoubtedly made me a better teacher.”

Completing the training has also made a positive impact on his home-life too; “I truly wish I’d done the Montessori course when my children were younger as I’ve no doubt it would have affected how my wife and I brought them up. It would have given us a far better understanding of what life is like for young children and how best to support them in their development. Even now it is giving me a greater tolerance and understanding on how life is for them; I’m more careful about imposing my own experiences and expectations onto them.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Meg Jackson – meg.jackson@montessori.org.uk or call 020 7493 8300.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Montessori Centre International is Europe’s largest provider of Montessori training. We provide courses for people at all stages of their career – from those taking their first step into Montessori and Early Years Education, to those wishing to build on existing qualifications and experience. Students can study with us in ways which suit them best; many of our courses offer blended learning, part time or full time learning options. Student finance is available for some courses. More information is available at www.montessori.org.uk