The Romance of Teaching: Montessori in the Elementary School


Ann V. Angell holds PhD and masters degrees in education from Emory University, and AMI teaching certification from the Montessori Institute of Bergamo, Italy. She has directed Montessori classes in New York, Georgia, Connecticut, and Colorado.

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A year before she was to retire, Dr. Ann Angell volunteered to start a new class at the Montessori public school where she’d been teaching for a decade. Her mission was to guide and encourage her students—second, third, and fourth graders with a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses—as they pursued their own paths of self-directed learning. How would she inspire Maya, obsessed with multiplication tables, to get excited about fractions and decimals? How would she help Blake become interested in something other than reading, and was that even a good idea? How could she persuade Hayden, a gifted artist, to interact more peacefully with his classmates?

The Colorado Student Assessment Program, which originated from No Child Left Behind legislation, presented further challenges. Ann would have to prepare her students for standardized testing while at the same time nurturing a mind-set that doesn’t assume there’s only one way to absorb information, only one correct answer to every question.

The Romance of Teaching: Montessori in the Elementary School chronicles a school year filled with growth and joyful learning. If you’ve ever wondered how education can be effective when kids are free to explore whatever subjects they choose, you’ll find Ann’s account enchanting.


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