The students stand out with critical thinking, highly developed logic and functional literacy

Meet our lovely teachers at Otkrivatel School where we have Pre-school (2,5 – 6 years), Elementary (6 – 12 years) and Adolescents (12 – 18 years) classes. Parents love the sense of community that is created which is something we strongly encourage and promote at Otkrivatel School in general and it is partly due to the fact that children can stay at the same site until they are 18, meaning that they really get to know their teachers and other children.

Simona Atanasova is a Bulgarian Language and Literature teacher. Not only does she love to play with language and explore literature, but she passes this passion on to our students.

– Simona, you went through a mentoring program as part of your induction to work at “Otkrivatel”. What excited you about the Montessori approach?
– The first thing that particularly impresses me about the Montessori approach is that each discipline is presented to the students from its very beginning to its full development today. At an early age, students delve into the roots of science – they discover it gradually, follow its development as their ancestors did. This is how they realize, feel with all their senses how the world works and what is the place of every living being in it. Imagine being able to retrace the steps of all plants, animals and human development in a few years! Montessori students study culture, not academic subjects. Because culture is precisely the way in which man “processes” his knowledge of the world. Any artificial division of this culture – by sciences, by study hours, by classes and ages – distances the learner from the nature of learning.

– What do you observe differently in the way of thinking and functioning of the students in “Otkrivatel” compared to the students in a traditional school?
– At “Otkrivatel”, the development of the student is determined by him. The work of teachers and guides is to observe the student as a person open to the world, to nurture his innate curiosity about the world, to stimulate his own explorations. When a student thrives in an environment that respects his opinion, supports him to exceed his own capabilities, challenges him to be the best version of himself, then that student allows his thought and will to temper and push him forward in whatever he undertakes. It is noticeable that the students in “Otkrivatel” with equal zeal peel cucumbers for their lunch, wash windows, solve problems with variables, do syntactic analysis, examine with a microscope. Their interests are unlimited, as are their possibilities, because no one has ever dared to limit their thinking.

– Would it be a challenge for you to have “Otkrivatel” grow from primary to secondary school? What are you excited about? Why do you think this is important?
– “Otkrivatel” school already sends to high schools students who have gone through all stages of Montessori education up to the 7th grade – from nursery, through kindergarten, to school. These students stand out with critical thinking, highly developed logic and functional literacy. They have developed their skills not only to successfully study academic disciplines, but also to study the world, the cosmos as an inseparable whole. Our students are aware of mathematics, history, language and all sciences in general as different sides of a whole – as it is in nature. This skill makes them remarkably adaptable. They see change as an opportunity, not a threat. It is quite natural to suggest that these students continue to develop in a Montessori environment to the stage where they will be ready to take their place in adult society. Imagine a child growing up with a free, supportive environment from their first months to adulthood. On a daily basis, I work with students who are already halfway through this journey. Everyday these students amaze me with the depth of their reasoning. I can’t wait to see what else they can achieve. I don’t know about you, but I would like to have more such individuals in our society.