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Observing Montessori Education at Children's House Montessori School of Reston, by Ms. Marierose Hoang

After spending 2 months witnessing Montessori in action at Children’s House Montessori School,  Sister Anna Tuyet Lan, Director of Thanh Tam Center of Special Education, became passionate and truly believed that the children under her care would be able to benefit from such an education.

Taking advantage of the fact that I would be in Vietnam visiting family during Summer 2015, Sister Anna invited me to come to Danang to share my experiences as a Montessori teacher to her staff. I readily accepted but did not realize until a few weeks before arriving that there will be about 30 nuns and teachers looking forward to this event. An intended casual event of sharing my Montessori experiences turned out to be a formal training session. Three weeks of feverish scrambling, sending English materials to be translated into Vietnamese were quite stressful, I must admit.

Meanwhile, upon her return to Vietnam, Sr Anna and her staff had been busy preparing a Montessori classroom with the help of her students from the carpentry department (another vocational section of Thanh Tam School), building and making necessary Montessori furniture and materials. She was able to get some funding from a charitable organization, Companions In Grace, to equip the language and sensorial areas; parents and children of CHMS completed the much needed math materials with the yearly Global Outreach program and were brought back to Vietnam in July 2015.

The environment prepared was close to perfect and after 10 days of delivering an intensive training program, I ended my journey spending time in the classroom with 20+ hearing impaired children and their teachers. I can't help but being proud and gratified of this very first Montessori class at Thanh Tam Center of Special Education.

The result was far more than expected.  The classroom was so peaceful: each child was in total concentration with his/her work, and so involved to the point of even forgetting their snack time. They did not want to go home and wanted to come to school earlier the next day. This did not happen before, they were often distracted and out of control but today with Montessori, it was less stressful for me and I was able to observe, be more in tune with the children and enjoy my job, said one of the teachers. After all, didn't Maria Montessori start with the children with intellectual and developmental disabilities?

- Marierose Hoang

See Part 1 and Part 3 of this story:
Part 1 - Introducing Montessori Education in Danang, Vietnam by Ms. Marierose Hoang
Part 3 - Implementing Montessori Education in Danand, Vietnam by Ms. Marierose Hoang