Words : Aanya Wipulasena
Photos : Nirmala Dhananjaya
Dr. Thushari Koralage is a woman who holds a plethora of roles. She is a mother, a teacher, a Principal and Managing directoress, an author, a lyricist, a social worker and an ardent lover of nature. Recently she was recognized at the awards ceremony of Women in Management as a Top 50 woman entrepreneur.
This month, the pioneer of Giggles International Montessori and Asian Grammar School in Colombo and Matara speaks to Lanka Woman about her journey.
It was my upbringing, my mother was a school teacher and I was exposed to teaching from a young age. All I did from a very young age was teaching. This led me to my career towards children’s education.
Yes, I have no other life other than being with the children. I can teach them 24 hours. I can stay with them day and night. I have three children and they were my biggest motivators to start the Montessori. 20 years ago when I was on the hunt for an appropriate Montessori, I was not happy with the options I had for my child’s early childhood education.
This paved the path for me to build my own Montessori from ground up. My love for children spans futher than my own, I consider all 2000 children in my school to be my own. My own daughters always question as to why they are not special and to that my answer always has been “all of you are my own children”. So to sum up, yes, my passion to work with children has been consistent.
Not just young children, since my school has students from the ages of 3 up to 19 I am exposed to different ages of children with different characteristics and personalities. When I am with my very young children I act like them, sing with them and play with them. In the same manner, when I am around my older children who are in their late teenage years I go to their level, think like them and understand them. I think this is a very important quality in an educator, to be able to truly see the world through their eyes and walk amongst them. This has been the greatest strength of mine that has enabled me to create lifelong relationships with all the children I have taught for the past 40 odd years.