Ms Uma Shanker, the Director of Indian Montessori Training Courses – Chennai, (IMTC-C) began her career in the field of education when she completed her training with IMTC under the directorship of Mr. S. R. Swamy in1984.
Working with children in Calcutta and Madras, she realized that this was her true vocation and became convinced that the Montessori Method offered the ideal environment for all children, to work towards their development. Everyday with the children was a new day to learn more and more from them whom she considers to be her teachers. Since then she has been working with and for children.
When she realized the importance of having trained teachers in the classroom, Uma moved to creating teacher-training courses. Initially reluctant to move into the adult training arena, she realized that her adult students when seen in the light of enthusiastic and eager learners the equation became significantly different.The role became one of a facilitator when the students began to look at the child from Montessori’s point of view and from thereon it was an exciting journey exploring ways to share and reach out to everyone, to dream and discover the possibilities of extending oneself to help future teachers to transform themselves to serve the child.
She firmly believes adults have to be prepared intellectually, technically and spiritually and this can only be achieved through appropriate training, which has the same respect and rigour as any professional training, be it medicine or engineering.
She has worked with NGOs like Sneha in Nagapattinam, SOS Village, Tambaram, Sri Ramacharan Charitable Trust and Nishkam Trust to train their teachers so that the Montessori method spreads out to reach out to children from different strata of society.
She has had articles published in the Hindu about Montessori Method and its benefits as also a series of articles on parenting.
She has written a booklet titled ‘A Guide to Montessori Education for the Early Years, ‘published by Indian Montessori Centre, TN Chapter.
The various chapters a deal with Montessori education for the 2 ½ to 6 years andfinally addresses questionsfrequently asked by parents.
At present she is Director-General, Indian Montessori Centre in charge of the Montessori Directors’ Training Course. (MDTC)
She has received the Lady Kalyani Sivaswami Ayyar Best Teacher Award.