As Emerson neared the end of its first year as a public Montessori school, they opened their doors for families to explore what it has to offer students. At the open house, teachers shared with prospective parents what makes the program unique, while students worked contentedly to demonstrate Montessori materials.
The neighborhood school transitioned to the Montessori method for its Pre-K through 2nd grade students for the 2018-2019 school year. Early childhood teacher Stephanie Jones said it was a great success.
“This year was our maiden voyage. We learned our students, families, and our community. We learned about our new curriculum. We learned about each other,” she said. “We developed and refined systems using community feedback to grow stronger together. I am really looking forward to next year to build upon the strong foundation we created this year.”
Montessori teachers train for about two years to develop the skills required for this rich educational environment. The method is focused on teaching the whole child, from academics to social emotional skills, in a peaceful and inventive way.
Students are empowered to solve problems and be independent. Montessori celebrates individuality and a strong sense of self. It fosters a greater sense of responsibility while providing freedom to be flexible, allowing students to explore what learning environment works best for them. By letting go of the typical classroom structure, students are able to work alone and in small groups on lessons that fit their specific abilities and needs.
For 2019-2020, the Montessori program will grow to include third grade, expanding to five early childhood classrooms and six lower elementary classrooms.
“The parents with returning children can expect the child to return to a classroom environment, routine, and expectations that they are already familiar with and to a teacher who already knows and adores them,” said Jones.
The teacher will already know them because Montessori classrooms contain multiple grade levels. The student is able to learn and grow in a familiar, steady environment for longer than a traditional program. With this extended connection, they are able to foster a supportive, familial atmosphere. It allows all students to work at a pace that suits them. Younger students can work ahead with the older students on materials they excel at, and the older students can work with the younger ones if they need additional time to master the material. The fluidity of the multi-age classroom promotes a judgment-free space for students to learn.
Montessori is a hands-on, multi-layered approach to learning, engaging students to go beyond simple memorization to understand the “how” and “why.” Maria Montessori, the innovator behind this method more than 100 years ago, developed specialized materials to teach language, math, history, geography, and science, which help turn abstract ideas into a tangible form. She also designed lessons that helped children develop their muscles, educate their senses, and care for the environment.
“Next year parents can expect their children to be working outside more as our farm, raised gardening beds, and nature pastures come into maturity,” said Jones.
The Montessori classrooms – both indoor and outdoor – encourage students to become curious, self-motivated learners, collaborating with their classmates and consulting with their teacher when they need a helping hand. Students take pride in their work from a young age, settings them up to be successful scholars for years to come.
For more information about the Montessori method, click here. Emerson Montessori is a great opportunity for all students. If you live in the area and would like to enroll your child, please visit the Enrollment page. If you weren’t able to attend the Open House, the school offers tours from November to February.