In today's Meet The Staff, we are speaking with Bloom's founder, Maëlys de Rudder Tanović. Mrs. de Rudder Tanović began her journey working in education back in 2008, when she first created Bloom for her five children. A certified Montessori practitioner, Mrs. de Rudder Tanović has recently taken up the role of coordinator and teacher at the pre-school level, all the while continuing to guide Bloom's growth and expansion. In this interview, Mrs. de Rudder Tanović talks about her journey in education and what excites her most about being back in the classroom.
Tell us about yourself.
Describing myself is a bit of a challenge, because I often feel like I have multiple lives unfolding simultaneously, much like a cat with nine lives. What defines me most is my relentless pursuit of meaning and personal growth, which constantly propels me to delve deeper into life's experiences. I find life to be an exhilarating adventure, which is why I have a deep affinity for working with children; they possess an innate curiosity and willingness to embrace the new and unknown.
As I've grown older, I've found increasing joy in connecting with new people and acquiring fresh knowledge. The bedrock of stability in my life is my cherished family – we've built a warm and cosy nest together, all while sharing a mutual taste for adventure. It's this delicate dance between security, a sense of belonging, independence, and the thirst for exploration that has guided me towards a career in education.
How did you get into education?
Embarking on the journey of educating my children provided me with a profound opportunity for personal growth—a sentiment I believe many parents can resonate with. This experience prompted me to reflect on my own school years and envision what could have been done differently.
Indeed my childhood experiences in school ignited a strong desire within me to create a nurturing learning environment where children could embark on a journey of self-discovery and exploration of the world around them. My aim was to facilitate their growth toward greater independence, a pivotal aspect of development, and to instil in them the belief that they possessed the ability to constantly redefine themselves without any constraints. This unwavering motivation has consistently propelled my actions forward.
What should be the purpose of schools?
The purpose of schools should be to serve as experiential spaces where individual human potential can blossom, rather than simply being institutions focused on imparting knowledge.
What is your purpose at Bloom?
At Bloom, my purpose is multi-faceted. I have a clear vision of what can be achieved, which allows me to inspire and motivate others. My pragmatic approach enables me to act as a mediator between traditional and innovative ideas, facilitating the realization of tangible goals. Because I'm deeply interested in human potential and development, I tend to attract unique and intriguing individuals who can contribute to our journey forward. In essence, my role at Bloom is to foster innovation, build bridges between different perspectives, and harness the collective potential of the people I interact with to drive meaningful progress.
What makes you most excited about being back in the classroom?
What truly excites me about being back in the classroom is the simple joy of spending time with the children. They hold a special fascination for me, even more so than adults, to be completely honest. Observing their interactions with the world and with each other is like witnessing a captivating, ever-changing performance.
At the moment, I'm working with children aged 2 to 6, a stage in their lives marked by rapid development and the emergence of distinct and vivid personalities. Being with them is a source of pure delight. They bring laughter into my life, offer new lessons daily, prompt me to reflect on myself, and consistently seek honesty and authenticity. They encourage me to push the boundaries of what I understand, and their expressions of a wide range of emotions make each day in their company a precious gift. What's more, the classroom experience is never monotonous because every day presents new adventures.
After more than 15 years in this profession, what would you say to your younger self?
Reflecting on the experiences and choices of my younger self, I realize that they have shaped the person I am today. Given that, I'm not entirely certain if I would advise her differently. Perhaps, if anything, I would encourage her to have greater confidence in following her heart.