10300 Sherman Dr. Lake Country, BC
Providing quality preschool to the communities of Lake Country, Oyama, Winfield, Cars Landing and Okanagan Center since 2005.
Tanya & her son Zachary ♥
Tanya Bunnah has been in the childcare field since 1995. She has studied in the Bachelor of Social Work program as well as the Child and Youth Care Counselling program. Tanya graduated with an Honorable Mention from the Early Childhood Education Program and was voted class Historian in 2001. She completed her Montessori 3-6 yrs Diploma in 1999. Tanya has taught both locally and internationally, traveled the world and brings the world to her classroom. As well as owning and operating Blossom Progressive Montessori, Tanya is the mother of one busy little boy.
An Article from NAMC News May 2006
Even as a young child, Tanya loved to teach. "I would make my younger brother play school with me," says Tanya, "and I pretended to be the teacher." Today, she is operating and teaching in her own Montessori preschool.
As an adult, Tanya pursued her interest in education, studying Child and Youth Care Counselling and Bachelor of Social Work, beginning her career in the childcare field in 1994. In 1998, she was introduced to Montessori, and she was captivated. "I observed a Montessori preschool classroom at Dale Gausman's school, and fell in love with the way these children were learning," says Tanya. "It was delightful and busy!"
While Tanya studied for her NAMC Preschool/Kindergarten diploma, she volunteered and worked at local Montessori schools. Upon acquiring her NAMC diploma, s he began full-time employment. Two years later, a friend who had been overseas encouraged her to apply to a Montessori program in Thailand. Within a few short months she had sold all her possessions and was on her way to Thailand.
Tanya's first experience was complete and utter culture shock. "I rode a motorbike on a dirt path to school," says Tanya. "Stray dogs, water buffalo and monsoon season… too much fun!" She did not speak the language, and was commissioned to build and stock a Montessori preschool classroom from scratch, with no budget . Through the generosity of an American colleague at the school and a resourcefulness that was borne of necessity, Tanya succeeded in establishing and implementing her first Montessori preschool classroom. The children, representing 21 different nationalities, were eager to learn. "Within three months, the children were normalized," says Tanya, "They were busy, busy, busy!"
It was not long before Tanya was in demand. During her three years in Thailand, she taught Montessori in both private International and public school settings, participated in special Math and English camps, developed and implemented two Montessori preschool programs and trained teachers and assistants, introduced Montessori to families, and more. She was involved in the establishment of the Montessori Association located in Bangkok. In the meantime, she met and married her husband Aktham, and decided to return to Canada when she was expecting her first child.
Tanya calls them the best three years of her life. The reward of seeing children respond so fully and quickly to the Montessori environment and develop a t rue love of learning, and to see teachers modelling and applying their training in the classroom, made all the effort worthwhile. It was exciting to share her knowledge with the Thai people, who were so interested in Montessori. Tanya returned home with a new appreciation for the educational and economic privilege of North America, and a love for the people of Thailand. She was ready to make her dream come true… to open her own Montessori Preschool in Canada.
Fourteen months ago, Tanya welcomed her first seven students to Blossom Progressive Montessori Preschool in British Columbia. Today, 60 students attend Blossom Progressive Montessori.
Tanya's inspiration is the children. "I just love to see the children come alive and develop a love of learning," says Tanya, "They enter kindergarten or grade one eager and confident. It is all about giving them that solid foundation for a life of learning." Tanya also credits her experience abroad including Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, United Arab Emirates, and a journey across the Thai border into Cambodia as being instrumental in her personal and professional development.
What lies ahead? "There is definitely more for me to do," says Tanya. In addition to expanding her existing program, she sees great potential for more Montessori schools in her region. Other dreams for the future include volunteering at a Montessori school in Italy, and writing/publishing children's books. Asked what she looks for when hiring teachers, Tanya is quick to respond. "Someone who shares the passion, who makes everything exciting and interesting, who has a peaceful disposition… you can tell right away," says Tanya. "They've got to have that fire, patience, and a big heart. A big heart goes a long way."