I am currently in my fourth year of being a Lead Teacher here at Charlotte Montessori School. When I was hired to become a teacher here, I was fresh out of school, with no idea what was ahead of me. Thankfully, there were and still are, women here that took me under their wings and showed me all I needed to know about the Montessori Philosophy. My assistant at the time was also new to being a toddler teacher, so we laughed, cried and struggled together. The end of our first year, we felt like family! My current assistant and I have gone through the same emotions, as we are now in our second year together. I love to look back at old pictures of my students, who are now grown and in their primary classrooms. I get to see most of them every day here at school, because thankfully their families decided to stay with us a little longer. Now that they are moving toward their kindergarten year, my heart feels sad to see them coming back from visiting new school locations. When you spend so much time with the children you think of them as your own family. We love to get to watch them grow every day, to be excited for new accomplishments, and hear them speak their first full sentences! I get excited when I hear them solve problems together, even if it is at a tone too loud for the classroom. As time goes on, they grow so fast that I see them as if they are older than they really are. When the children move to a new classroom, it is sad, but joyous too. You know that they will be loved, challenged with new materials, and still excited to see you in the hallway when you pass by. I wonder if Maria Montessori felt the same way when it was time for her to leave her students/children? I like think they she probably felt the same proud and sad feeling that I do when we say goodbye to the current families of our classrooms. But also knowing that Charlotte Montessori is like a giant tree that keeps expanding every year with new families adding on a branch!