It is easy for a school to claim that it follows the methods developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, but it is much harder to do. It takes excellent educators and a school with integrity, discipline, and experience to fulfill her noble ideals.
This child-centered educational approach is very different than traditional educational methods. It addresses physical, social, and emotional needs, as well as intellect.
Here are a few of the traits that can help you separate an authentic Montessori school from others.
Good schools start with good leaders. An authentic Montessori school is usually led by a past teacher with years of experience and undying enthusiasm for the method’s benefits. They’ve seen the results and know how Montessori can shape a child’s future.
Long Teacher Tenure
Montessori teachers want to work in authentic schools and when they find one, they do not leave. Check to see how long the teachers have taught in the school. A long tenure speaks highly of the school’s authenticity.
A true Montessori program supports the individual development of your child. Unlike traditional schools, the curriculum conforms to your child and reflects their needs and interests.
Uninterrupted Class Time
Authentic Montessori schools use long periods of uninterrupted work time. This allows each child time for self-chosen activities and individualized education. Typically, class time is between three and four hours.
A Montessori classroom is ordered and structured. All learning materials should be hands-on and kept in a specific area based on subject matter. The room should have age appropriate furniture and natural materials should dominate the uncluttered, attractive classroom.
The classroom should also have access to the outdoors. This could be a patio, field, garden to grow flowers and vegetables, or a play area. Live plants or fresh flowers are also common in a Montessori classroom.
Focus on Social Skills
An authentic Montessori education involves more than nurturing the mind. Children should be taught social skills such as courtesy, grace, respect, and civility. Common activities such as properly greeting a stranger, introducing a friend, or leaving the room quietly should be part on an authentic Montessori experience.
If you’re considering a Montessori education for your child, please contact us. You are more than welcome to schedule a tour at Sunset Montessori Community or we can answer any questions you have about our center, programs, and pricing.