If you have children who are about to start school, you might be wondering whether a Montessori school might be a good option for them. More and more parents and caregivers around the world appreciate the Maria Montessori method.
This is because of its child-centered focus, spontaneous and playful attitude towards learning, and passion for supporting the development of every individual child. But when it comes to picking the right Montessori-based school, you should know exactly what to look for.
Read our guide to find out about the three essential characteristics that a great Montessori school should have.
Just because a school claims to be Montessori, it doesn't always mean that it is structured in the way an authentic Montessori preschool should be. So, when you are visiting the school, make sure you keep an eye out for a Montessori learning environment.
This might vary a little bit from school to school, but in general, you should be able to spot some consistent features. For example, the rooms should have very few “traditional” toys, and include a hands-on, practical area.
The school should also have child-sized furniture and many everyday objects placed within the child's reach. The environment should also look and feel welcoming, cozy, and inclusive, with children of mixed ages playing together.
First of all, a Montessori teacher is a bit different from an ordinary one. For example, they won't be standing up in front of the children providing instructions, and they won't be delivering any traditional lessons.
A real Montessori teacher is more similar to a mentor, an educator, and a facilitator. They will encourage, stimulate, and inspire children of different ages, abilities, and developmental stages.
Montessori teachers should also hold a formal, valid, and current Montessori qualification. Sometimes, teaching assistants are also trained in Montessori. If you find a school with both Montessori-trained teachers and assistants, then you are off to a great start.
After you have evaluated the environment and the teachers, you are going to need one last, fundamental insight: the one coming from the children.
To achieve this, you should try to schedule your visit at a time when the students are in the classroom. Doing so will help you to gain a truthful perspective over how children learn, play, and interact.
While you are observing them, make a few mental notes and ask yourself a few questions. Are they actively engaged in their activities?
Are they choosing which objects to play with freely? Are they solving any potential conflict in a positive, constructive way? These are good indicators of whether the school is succeeding at its Montessori method.
Now that you know the main criteria for selecting a great Montessori school for your little one, you can begin your search. Are you based in the San Dimas area?
At Arrow Montessori, we would love to welcome your child, and help them realize their best potential in the ways that are most suitable to them. Contact us today to learn more.
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