TMM spotlight: Meet Robert Fischbeck

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?

Short and sweet: Born in USA, living in Norway for 30 years. I use my free time to do cooking/eating healthy food, Aikido, Facebook, outdoor life, family and Montessori. The order changes all the time.

Q: What was your first experience with Montessori?
I first came across Montessori through an audio cassette (anyone remember those?) that I got from  a friend with songs for my kids with Montessori themes. Many years later, I found my life and work shifting from restaurant work to working with children. I applied to schools and preschools and was hired by a Montessori preschool. I wasn’t looking for it, but it found me!

Q: Can you share with us a Montessori moment that continues to inspire your practice?
Hmmm, there are many. Instead of a “moment”, I would rather share a commonality in “moments”. Sometimes there are children who are different, not your standard kid, that others don’t quite “get”. At our school we see the child first as a human being and then what that person needs and so do our best to provide it in the way we best can. I have seen such people settle, relax, become accepted by their peers and then thrive, becoming instead of just “fitting in”. I dig seeing people being accepted for who they are and being just that. Montessori provides that.

Q: What’s your favourite Montessori quote? And why?

I don’t have a favourite quote. Everything I’ve read by Dr. Montessori seems to hit the nail on it’s head, so to speak. I believe she was a person who had a clear vision, that she saw the reality of what was in front of her. Every quote rings true and it’s meaning changes with my own development.

Q: Is there a Montessori material you love particularly and why?

I got goose bumps when I was first introduced to the Golden Beads. They represent the evolution of concrete to abstract in a perfect way. I know adults who have previously considered themselves “not good at math” light up when using these materials. They had never been allowed to explore math before, but just forced to accept anything the teacher told them.

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