A Montessori education is based on the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori, a medical doctor, teacher, philosopher, and anthropologist who noticed a link between the children she would see in her practice and their educational experiences. This philosophy strives to encourage a love for learning which becomes a propelling force not only through secondary education but the child’s entire life. One of the most important tenets of a Montessori School is the Golden Rule. We speak of, model and teach our children respectful behaviors, compassion, grace, courtesy and manners as the foundation on which our program rests.
Our beautiful classrooms are designed to meet the needs of the child at each stage of development. Guided by the Montessori philosophy, our academic environments are organized well-lit spaces with room for children to move, to work independently, to collaborate, to learn. Montessori materials, purposeful technology, and engaging enrichment allow the child to work at his or her own pace, to pursue his interests and to acquire all the skills he or she will need under the guidance of highly trained teachers. Montessori philosophy allows us to build an environment that encourages independence, problem solving skills, and remarkable self-discipline. Mixed-aged classrooms allow for children to learn from one another, teach one another and develop life skills such as inclusion and acceptance.
When visitors enter our Montessori environments, they are usually struck by how peaceful the classrooms are. This is because Montessori classrooms are different. Most instruction happens in small groups: teachers observe students and bring together children who are ready for a particular lesson. After a lesson, each child has time to practice a skill or further explore an area, either alone or with freely chosen partners. In a Montessori classroom, advanced students will be challenged to perform at their best: it’s not unusual for a 3rd grade Montessori student to tackle what would typically be considered 5th grade math, for example. At the same time, a child who struggles can get the extra support the child needs, without suffering the negative effect on his self-esteem that comes from needing remedial work. Children learn with and from each other, in a mixed-age environment. Instead of competing with each other, they grow into a community, and practice all-important social skills every day.
Our alumni report that their Montessori experience has empowered them to be advocates for themselves, to seek out justice and fairness, helped them interact in more emotionally positive ways than many of their peers, and has allowed them to be curious, mindful and compassionate adults.