Working with My Child: from Montessori Classrooms to Global Kitchens

People often ask me how I got started doing what I do.  How does a preschool or elementary school teacher from the U.S. end up a nomadic chef, traveling the globe? And how on earth can you possibly do that with a family?

Well, it’s been a long and winding road, but the journey’s been absolutely unbelievable! If you’re willing to follow me down some of those seemingly impossible twists and turns, I’d like to tell you a little bit of the beginning of that story.

In 2007, my husband and I left the U.S. to live and teach in Japan. Although he was teaching a variety of ages at English conversation schools, I brought my focus to mothers with young children who were not yet going to school. The Mommy & Me classes that I taught covered a variety of subjects, but the language of instruction was English.

Following the birth of our son, we made a conscious decision to alter the trajectory of our lives so we could spend more time together as a family. When he was just four months old, we opened the doors to our international Montessori school in central Japan.

Storytime at I.A. Matsumoto
Reading a story during a Books and Baking event at I.A Matsumoto

After giving an award-winning presentation for the Japan Association of Language Teachers (J.A.L.T.) the previous year, I was invited to other prefectures to introduce the benefits of the Montessori method in the language classroom. At first, I turned down these requests, informing the inviting organizations that I was with child. However, after one specific group even offered to reschedule my presentation for the following year, we realized we had a decision to make.

Yes, my husband and I acknowledged that we were educators with a young child. However, we decided that we were not going to use his presence in our lives as an excuse to avoid sharing the work we love. If we could run a school with an infant, surely we could travel around the country and give few short presentations, too!

So, when people ask how long we’ve been working with Our Little Sous, we can honestly answer that we’ve been doing it since he was a baby. He is not a hindrance. On the contrary, he is the very reason we do what we do.

JALT Presentation with OLS
Conducting a teacher training workshop with my infant son

Education is a life long affair. We want to model the learning that our child can emulate. We are Worldschoolers, and we all learn together everywhere we go! We’ve been enjoying this lifestyle for many years, and we have no plans of slowing down any time soon.

Here’s a peek at one of those early presentations, from way back when Our Little Sous was *really* little!

What excuses have you been telling yourself about why you just can’t work with your child?

How might your work look different if you made it a learning opportunity for everyone?

Join us in our online group, where we PLAY with our food, and wash away all the excuses, along with all the dirty dishes, too!

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