Irene R, 34, has a bachelor degree in Foreign Language Teaching for Primary and Preschool in 2011. She has over 10 years experience working in education across childminding, preschool, primary school and English teaching. With much exposure to education she realised that she wanted to focus on preschool and in particular in Montessori teaching.

Irene arrived in Dublin for the first time in 2007 and spent some time working in a crèche and a Montessori preschool where she experienced at first hand the Montessori Method. Irene subsequently left Ireland to spend some time travelling across Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Her goal during this time was to experience new places while working in education where possible.

During her travels Irene got some great tasters of Montessori in both Peru and the Dominican Republic and this confirmed for her that she wanted to continue this path. Irene has always been passionate about working with children and wanted to explore different ways of teaching outside of the traditional method. “I was still in the Dominican Republic when I signed up for the course at Portobello Institute. It was a big commitment and hard decision, but I wanted to get my qualification as fast as possible”.

“I wanted good quality learning and was impressed by Portobello Institute’s Intensive programme where we would cover all relevant content in just one month.” Irene made a decision to move back to Dublin to complete the Montessori intensive at Portobello Institute course in July 2017. After significant research Portobello Institute was the perfect choice for her needs – "intensive training in a central location with the potential to get an internationally recognised qualification, quickly."

Irene found her tutor to be the best asset. “She is passionate in her job and about spreading the philosophy. She was also very helpful, experienced and patient.” Overall, Irene found the course to be very interesting, useful and complete with room to learn more about the Montessori Method.

“We got a good base and I believe all will come with practice little by little and eventually we will refine our skillset.” Over the course we learned about the different materials and method of teaching. We also had time to discuss everything and put ourselves into possible situations that could come in the future.  Irene recommends that people need to get ready for alot of hard work during the course and indeed for some time afterwards while completing the assignments and relevant course work on completion of the intensive programme. 

Irene said she would absolutely recommend the course. "You meet and almost live for a month with people who have the same interests, excitement and illusions, so you feel accompanied. You need to get ready for hard work but yes I would recommend it and prepare yourself for alot of work."

Irene plans to bring the opportunity for a different type of education to all children, to continue her worldwide travels and perhaps one day open a little public Montessori school accessible to all children.  The future looks bright for Irene - “hopefully now with my qualification it will open more doors for working abroad, and I can take the method with me to more places. And maybe one day I could open a Montessori school accessible for all children, who knows!”

Portobello Institute offer part 1 and 2 to allow students to gain their major Level 6 award. For full details on Montessori training please contact Jennifer Matteazzi on 01 8920040 or jennifer.matteazzi@portobelloinstitute.ie