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Bess began working with Microsoft SharePoint in 2003 and has worked with every version since, including 2016 and Office 365.  She enjoys leveraging her business analyst skills to assist organizations in getting the most out of their Microsoft investment.

During her Information Technology journey, Bess discovered the joys of improvisation.  She has traveled the country to study improv, including the top three schools in Chicago – The Second City, iO, and The Annoyance.  She performs locally with Dinner Detective and is the director of Indy Improv Collaborative, an improv troupe nominated for Nuvo’s Best of Indy in 2017.

Bess combines her improv skills with her 20 years of corporate experience in Information Technology, allowing her to specialize in collaborative solutions.  She is the owner of Collaborative Ventures, LLC.

Bess lives in Indianapolis, IN where she is raising her three children.

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Maria Montessori: The Authority on the Method

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I recently had an online conversation in a Montessori group where we discussed misconceptions we had about the method when we first began our journey.  Over time, I have realized that my misconceptions where not based on an error in my comprehension.  I clearly understood what the author intended.  Instead, the issue was with the author who shared his/her own perspective on what Maria Montessori had originally written.

Few would question the notion the Internet has revolutionized our lives.  It has been pivotal in bringing awareness to the Montessori Method.  It has provided a platform for sharing ideas and discussing how the philosophies apply in our modern society.  I am exceptionally grateful for those who have dedicated their careers to bringing Montessori to a wider audience.  However, I have a growing concern over how the Internet is being used in regards to growing our knowledge of the method.

Overall, my approach to advancing my Montessori knowledge is similar to most.  I participate in discussed groups, read blogs and glean ideas from Pinterest.  I also enjoy reading various books on the topic that were written by fantastic giants of the Montessori community such as Tim Seldin and Trevor Eissler.  And for the most part, these are wonderful practices.  But if I fail to occasionally choose a title from Maria Montessori's vast body of work, I'm missing out on the heart and soul of Montessori.

I understand the challenges that can surround Maria Montessori's works.  Many are poorly translated which exacerbates the difficult of absorbing something that was written in Italian a century ago.  Even still, if you never attempt to learn from something crafted from Maria herself, everything you ever read will be nothing more than someone else's interpretation.

I want to encourage you to take the plunge into a book written by Maria herself.  I know it is something I need to do again in the near future.  If you aren't sure where to begin, here are a few of the classics:

  • The Absorbent Mind
  • The Discovery of the Child
  • The Secret of Childhood
  • The Montessori Method
  • Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
  • The Child in the Family
One fantastic little secret to share is that you can actually find most of Maria Montessori's works online for free.  I learned this from a fantastic blog called Making Montessori Ours.  The original post can be found here.  Unfortunately, a number of the links have been updated.  If you cannot get them to work on the original post, you can try searching here.

 So who's with me for a Maria Montessori book club?
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