Umnia Khan offered a session on May 28.

Umnia has worked with teens and adults in creative writing, poetry, and visual narrative and filmmaking workshops. They love how everyone has such unique experiences in life.


The Discovery of My Truth

by Sinéad MacDevitt

I thought education could only be enjoyed by “high achieving students” and “all-rounders”. I thought the teaching profession was only for the chosen few. So many points were needed for university and Mathematics and honours Irish loomed large. It was believed that “you either have a flare for Irish or you don’t” and “you either have an aptitude for Mathematics or you don’t”. I had to accept the fact that the idea of pursuing teaching as a career was “unrealistic”. My aunt said: “If God wanted you to be a teacher, he would have given you the gift”. When I discovered the Montessori method, I realised the truth. I’m a student at heart and this training course was for me. From day one, my enthusiasm soared when I realised how accessible education can be. The Montessori method was different to the traditional method. The traditional method focused on the abstract approach. Whereas the Montessori method was designed in such a way so that children could progress from the concrete to the abstract. She believed in educating children through the senses. Her belief was early education. Up to six years, children go through the sensitive periods. The Sensorial Materials are designed to support the child in naming, classifying and discriminating between the senses: visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory and olfactory. The materials indirectly prepare a child for work with the Montessori Maths Materials. The materials allow the child to internalize and understand a wide range of concepts, each of which is done in a practical and concrete manner. An example is the Red Rods, which are used for introducing the concept of comparative length. She also used the cosmic approach for each subject, for example, Trees. This topic can be experienced during nature study, sketched during art lesson, sung during music lesson, mimed during drama class and read during literature lesson. The poem, “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer can be used not only for the poetry lesson but for religion class, hence only God can make a tree. So points were raised by fools like whigs but only God can give the gifts I will conclude by saying that now I realise that my Aunt Chris (RIP) conveyed my truth.

Thank you for joining us to Write Around the World!

For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.

We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!