Teresa Noble is the Director of the Early Childhood Program at the Institute for Guided Studies and MACTE Board Member. If Teresa is not at home in South Carolina, it is very possible she is serving as a MACTE onsite verifier! She has traveled across the U.S. and filled up her passport traveling to programs in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Teresa is a master verifier who mentors MACTE’s new verifiers during on-site visits, and we are grateful for the work that she does.
How did you discover Montessori education?
I was blessed that the superintendent of Laurens District 55 introduced Montessori education as a choice in our schools. It came at a time when I was looking for a better way to help children, so I jumped at the chance. Although the only knowledge I had about Montessori was a sentence or two in my undergraduate and graduate textbooks, I was intrigued by what I observed in a newly opened Montessori classroom. The short story is that I began training and fell in love with the philosophy and methodology. I drank the Kool-Aid! (Actually gargled with it, bathed in it, rinsed my hair with it…) The rest is history. My husband now claims to be the President of Montessori Spouses Support Group because when my friends and I gather (other Montessori trainers, teachers and parents), we can’t stay away from the topic. It becomes a life passion. Montessori just won’t stay in the classroom!
How do you explain your work with MACTE to those unfamiliar with accreditation?
MACTE accreditation promotes good practice and therefore affects children positively.
What is your super power?
Giving the impression I know what I’m doing!
Why did you choose to get involved as a on-site verifier for MACTE?
It’s our responsibility to serve the greater Montessori community, and it’s a great opportunity to learn.
What aspects of your background have been helpful in your work as a MACTE verifier?
My mentor, Sherry Sweet Miller, always encouraged us to have open minds and that our most important job is to be an ambassador for Montessori so that all children have access to its possibilities.
What has been one of your most memorable onsite experiences?
Oh, my! I have SO many wonderful memories. The relationships made with people all over the US and abroad are the things that stand out, but I have also had many cultural experiences on my travels that I never would have enjoyed if not for MACTE onsite visits. I have walked the Great Wall, watched African animals in the wild, rode over the desert of the moving sands, drank coffee in a Bedouin tent, eaten the best food from all over the world, and much, much more. But the best thing ever is seeing children all over the US and the world joyfully, productively, and peacefully working in Montessori classrooms.
What have you learned from working as a MACTE verifier that has been beneficial to you?
Every time I go on a visit, I learn really important things. It is THE BEST professional development a Montessori adult educator can have.
What’s your favorite part of being a part of the MACTE community?
The relationships with other like-minded people who share themselves and their experiences.
What is your greatest career or life achievement so far?
Raising two fine young men who are loving and giving. And one recently brought me a lovely daughter!