One question that I get asked every year, several times a year, is “How is Montessori different from any other school?” That is such a loaded question. I wish that I had this amazing, quick answer to give you. That would be fun. However, I thought I could try to answer that question little by little.
I will start with the functionality of the environment, aka the classroom. Ms. Kelly and I work constantly to provide your children with everything they need to have a successful day. We arrive early everyday and work until that 8:15 marker to make sure that everything is perfect and ready. Which is why, if you accidently arrive a few minutes early, you get a panicked look from me….Your child’s space isn’t prepared yet. They deserve for it to be exact.
Then, we observe….A LOT. We are constantly observing and making notes about each child. “What do they like? Who are they drawn to? How can I connect?” So, when you ask us how we know when they are ready for the next activity or “work”. We know. They know, and they tell us in ever so obvious ways.
Lastly, how does the day actually work, you ask? Well, Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. They are not required to sit and listen to a teacher talk to them as a group, but are engaged in individual or group activities of their own, with materials that have been introduced to them one on one, by the teacher who knows what each child is ready to do. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.
I could go on and on….But, I won’t. Let’s save some for next month. What I will do is keep going to the environment early, I will keep observing and I will continue to listen to your child and respect their efforts in order to provide them with the most successful learning experience that I can.
I leave you with this. Jessica