TMM spotlight: Rhett Romsaas

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up an only child in a split household and always wished for a brother or sister. As I got into my early teen years I decided that I wanted to be a dad. I was an avid baby sitter for neighbor kids, cousins and friends of the family.

When I was 17, my dad and step-mom adopted a beautiful 8 month old girl from Korea, Mia. Her and I were pretty much inseparable.

After High School I went to work at the YWCA in New Hope, Minnesota and worked with school age and preschool kids, from that I went on to work with adults with developmental disabilities and after that, I began my 3 year stint at a Montessori Preschool in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

That was my first introduction to the Montessori Method and I attribute that time in my life to when I actually grew up.

Q: What drew you to Montessori education? And how has Montessori affected the way you see things?

My sister went to a Montessori school, she was always telling me these crazy, amazing, insane things that I didn’t know. She started reading at a very early age (still does, A LOT) and I was amazed with how articulate and full of substance she was.
I attended a picnic full of kids which led me to taking part in a lot of running around and playing. I still find that adults are not my “peeps,” but kids are.
The Director of the preschool called me a few days after the picnic and asked if I’d like to join the Montessori team… I jumped at the opportunity.
Montessori education affected me in many ways. I was blown away by the option of choice and I remember thinking, “Man, if I had this as a kid I would be a completely different person.”

I keep my eyes open for the little details in life whether on a walk or in conversation. I have a greater appreciation for how things work, look, sound and feel.

Q: If Dr. Maria Montessori was alive today, what would you ask her? 

I would probably ask her what she thinks of where we are at now as a global community.  I feel like there is so much to learn from other countries and especially here in the US it seems our education system is either unable or unwilling to integrate what works for others and implement something substantial that allows parents and children a choice when it comes to how they learn or even how they think they learn.

I’d also ask her how she feels about putting technology into a 2 year olds hand as a baby sitter.

Q: What does Montessori have to offer our world? 

Choices, a rich spectrum of thought and expression and very possibly a brighter future.
Q: Do you have a favourite quote?

“When the light turns green, you go. When the light turns red, you stop. But what do you do when the light turns blue with orange and lavender spots?” – Shel Silverstein