Alumni Spotlight on Lily Enchin
"It was such a gift to take my Montessori training to the next level while pursuing my graduate degree, working alongside fellow Montessori educators from across the globe, and putting my newfound research skills into practice."
This month's spotlight is on alumna Lily Enchin ('23). Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, she holds credentials at both the Primary and Assistants-to-Infancy levels, and graduated this past May with her M.Ed. in Montessori Education (Evergreen Pathway).
Tell us about yourself; and what led you to Montessori education?
Growing up in a very multicultural city, I was exposed to cultures from all over the world. I remember being fascinated by other cultures and wanting to explore them through food and visits to different neighborhood festivals. As I got older, this translated into a love of travel. During college, I took a gap year traveling around Southeast Asia and doing community service work teaching English to children in rural Cambodia. My interest in Asia led me to pursue my undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from York University in Toronto. After completing my degree, I spent two years teaching English to children in China and knew I wanted to continue teaching, but was unsure of where that would lead me to. By some stroke of fate or luck, a friend of my family encouraged me to look into Montessori education...and the rest, as they say, is history!
What are your professional goals?
My professional goals are to continue working closely with parents and families to support the young child in the first three years of life. At the moment, I am a lead guide in the classroom, and I hope to one day work with families as a consultant or from a more administrative role. Another goal is to help conduct more Montessori research as I found the research process to be fascinating and incredibly worthwhile.
What outcome(s) of your graduate program resonates in your post-graduation work?
Loyola’s graduate program helped me discover my love of conducting research, and since it was action research, it was deeply intertwined with my work with the children in my care and their families. Through this process, I got direct feedback from my student’s families about how I can further support them through parent workshops, parent-teacher communication, and opportunities to volunteer at school. I now feel more prepared to plan and schedule community events and even more confident in my ability to deliver high-quality parent engagement experiences to my families.
Is there a course, assignment, or faculty member who has had a lasting impact on your experience at Loyola?
The final action research paper that was the culmination of my practicum year is my greatest written accomplishment in all my years of academia and has certainly had a lasting impact on me. The support I received from Program Director Carrie Horwitz Lang was instrumental in helping me finalize this major project. Her insight and feedback let me know that I was on the right track and also what areas I could improve upon. This support has made me a better Montessori educator and a capable educational researcher.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others interested in this program?
This program taught me so much about myself as a Montessori guide and even more about myself as a human. It was such a gift to take my Montessori training to the next level while pursuing my graduate degree, working alongside fellow Montessori educators from across the globe, and putting my newfound research skills into practice.