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 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 job as an assistant teacher and this was just the beginning of my successful career as I trained to become an Early Childhood Educator. 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 trained my own staff. ‘Montessori Education’ was mis-interpreted (sometimes it still is), but as the parents of the my school began noticing very positive changes in their children, the program I offered became very popular.
The school grew from 25 students to 100 students, within a short span of time and 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/ Instructor. I also moved on to establish two Montessori Early Childhood programs in Calgary.
Almost 40 years as an Early Childhood Educator and 20 years as an Adult Instructor later, I realized that there was a huge missing piece among parents, educators and children. While the focus was always on generic areas of child development especially academics, I recognized that future success depended on a growth mindset, being resilient to life’s challenges, strong self esteem, value system and sense of identity. Success was not purely dependent on education, it was the power of the mind that leads one to achieving their highest potential! My third calling was born – A Mindset and Mindfulness Coach aspiring to transform the norm of searching external validation and instead strengthening the gifts and inner power we are born with.
I have and continue to feel a great sense of fulfillment and purpose in all three of my roles as an Eductor. I always strive to put my students (child or adult) first and understand their needs closely. I am told, I have strong intuition 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. This will probably sound like I’m on stage for the Miss Universe pageant, but it is true I have a deep interest in fostering peace in adults and children for a better world.
After all, in the words of Dr. Montessori, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education.”
As I continue my work locally in Calgary, Canada, my bigger purpose is to make a difference internationally especially in 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.
Sherin was born in exotic Mombasa, Kenya. After immigrating to Canada at the age of 37, Sherin brought forth her strengths as an Early Childhood Educator. Sherin worked 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 has a flair for understanding children and motivating 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 diverse experiences, 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 is dedicated to her family, lifelong personal learning, volunteering, and other recreational activities.