Montessori Trainer Profile
Director of Studies – Sherin Alibhai
For many, making a career choice is as distressing as chronic pain…Just when you think you have nailed it, it comes back to you – making you one unhappy person!
I am blessed to have found a career that I feel very passionate about. I did not go searching for a career in teaching. In fact, it came searching for me. I was a young 17 year old in the small town of Mombasa, Kenya awaiting admission into the business program at what was Calgary’s Mount Royal College, now University. During that time, the principal of a very large, reputed preschool invited me to come and work as a teacher’s assistant. “But I have absolutely no experience or idea how to teach,” I responded. “Don’t worry,” said the principal, “we will help you along.” A few months later, I received an acceptance letter from Mount Royal College.
I was excited to take off from Africa and study in North America when my family went through unexpected financial difficulty. This changed my path and instead, I ventured to India to pursue further education in psychology. I started college in India, made some good friends and began adjusting to life there. But every day upon returning from college, I would revert to reading books about preschool aged children. Even the relatives that I lived with questioned and consistently lectured me about my attention towards ‘irrelevant topics.’
At the same time, I was falling ill on a regular basis. The doctor advised my visiting parents to take me back home. Upon hearing this, I knew that my parents would be concerned about what career options lay in store for me due to the fact that educational opportunities were limited in Kenya at that time. Without hesitation, I reassured them with confidence, “I know my calling, I am going take up Early Childhood Education.”
I returned to Kenya to my old job as an assistant teacher and this was just the beginning of my successful career as a teacher. After a few years of working as a lead teacher in Mombasa, Kenya, I established my own school. At that time, trained Montessori teachers were hard to come by in Kenya, and so I started training my own staff.
The school grew from 25 students to 100 students, within a short span of time. During this time, I also started educating parents about Montessori education. I didn’t realize it then, but I was beginning to make an impact on adults as well. After celebrating a decade with Little Angels Playschool, Mombasa, I sold the school and moved to Calgary. Finally, I would get to meet North America!
Once in Calgary, I worked in various positions including program coordinator, staff trainer and director of several Montessori day care locations under one company. It was during this time that I found my calling a second time – as an adult trainer. I also moved on to establish two Montessori Early Childhood programs.
I feel a great sense of fulfillment and purpose with my career both as a Montessori teacher for children and an adult instructor.
I always strive to put my students (child or adult) first, observe and understand them closely and this guides me to work with them in a manner that makes their learning experience exciting. Achieving results with children and adults is most important for me.
My mission is to use my talent, expertise and experience to make a difference – big or small. In working with teachers, parents, caregivers, I become an agent of change not only in the adults I train but also the children that they impact. I have deep interest in developing peace in adults and children for a better world.
“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education” – Maria Montessori
As I continue my work locally in Calgary, Canada, my bigger purpose is to make a difference internationally especially the less privileged countries. I have seen the benefits of Montessori Education as a parent, teacher and trainer and wish to share it with more children and adults.
- M.A in Educational Management University of Bath, U.K.
- Certified Montessori Trainer Montessori Centre International, U.K.
- Representative & Trainer Montessori Teachers College, Toronto
- Diploma in Montessori Method of education St Nicholas Training Centre, U.K.
- Certified First Aid & CPR in Child Care Canadian Red Cross
Sherin was born in Mombasa, Kenya where she worked as an early childhood educator for 5 years, there after teaching and owning a school for 10 years.
After immigrating to Canada in 2002, Sherin worked in Montessori preschool and day care settings as a teacher, trainer, director and program coordinator for 4 years.
Sherin is a certified International trainer and worked as an adult instructor for Montessori Centre International, U.K. for 7 years before she moved on to represent Montessori Teachers College, Toronto for 8 years. Sherin now designs and conducts courses under her founded organization Montessori Professional Training Canada.
Sherin’s flair for understanding and her candid intuition of children’s needs motivate them to enjoy the process of learning; thus bringing out the best in them. A former preschool student of Sherin’s came by to visit one day and this is what she had to say:
“You are the best teacher I have had. You have the coolest stuff in your school and you can tell what we are thinking even before we tell you.” Maria – ex preschool student
When teaching adults, Sherin’s friendly and warm personality instantly puts everyone at ease. She always strives to make her teaching style fun, stimulating and remarkably educational. As Salima (adult student, Montessori Classroom Assistants’ Course) attests:
“Sherin, attending your class is a full meal deal! An appetizer, main course and dessert all in one!”
Sherin’s diversified and collective experience with adults and children makes her a competent and high achieving individual who always aims to provide high quality education. In addition, Sherin’s passions include her family, lifelong learning, volunteering, and other recreational activities.