09 Apr 2018

Alumni – Fiona Campbell

I came out of Cooinda virtually overnight to take on the role as interim Principal. I had thought that my role as a classroom director was multitasking, nothing prepared me for what was required as Principal. I did miss those precious moments and smiles from the children. The school had recently moved from Smith Street and so the funds were not exactly flowing! All those wonderful initiatives that I had dreamed up when classroom teaching was just not going to happen!

So, what did I enjoy about being Principal for those 4+ years?

I felt very privileged to have the opportunity to gain knowledge around the workings of the 6 – 9 and 9 – 12 classrooms and to see the young children grow into these very individual, motivated and self-thinking older children.   I was delighted that we commenced an under 3s program initially just with one session and then growing so rapidly  to 1 – 2 sessions every day of the week. To be able to provide a Montessori education birth to 12 “under the one roof’ was a career realisation.

Learning on the go would have been an understatement and with the knowledge that I now have there is no way that I would have accepted the invitation to be Principal! I was dealing with Board meetings, government agencies, building regulations and the odd parent whinge (the easiest to sort!)

I enjoyed working with an already strong and dedicated team of Montessori educators from very diverse backgrounds and building that team to be bigger and better! We had some fun times as well – it wasn’t just about the work – barefoot bowls provided a few laughs and Pilates above the cafe a few more!

I loved squeezing through that funny front door and on rainy days being meet by a waterfall from roof leaks above that no one seemed to be able to fix or arriving at Lilyfield and walking along the church cloisters. I did feel mildly disrespectful when planning and building Sintonia and the church altar became the bathrooms!

Even now I remember most of the students’ names and can even remember their dates of birth from the hours pouring over the waitlist (which was always too long) resulting in the delivery of some sad news to parents whilst others heard the news they hoped for.

When I see the teachers of Inner City Montessori School (ICMS) at varying events I notice how many of them began their Montessori journey under my guard and that is definitely a rewarding aspect of those few years, however probably the most rewarding aspect was enabling the continuation of an authentic Montessori community with a strong foundation to ensure growth into the future.

Our Mailing Address is:

Inner Sydney Montessori School
44 Smith St
Balmain, NSW 2041