The Montessori Classroom
Often appears unique to those unfamiliar with the program. Children move about the room freely, from one activity to another, sometimes alone, sometimes in small groups, doing, experiencing, and learning independently, or from each other. Often there is a child or small group interacting with a teacher, while another faculty member may be present quietly observing and taking notes. The adults act as guides and observers rather than being the center of all classroom activity. In order to develop a strong sense of personal values, as well as respect for others, Montessori classrooms are noncompetitive. Children of mixed ages work and play together – older children teach younger ones, allowing each child to advance at his or her own pace. As a result, each child feels the joy that comes naturally from mastering skills without being compared to others. Diversity and the celebration of community are embedded in our self-direct curriculum. The preschool classrooms include practical life, sensorial math, and language areas, as well as areas devoted to art, science, geography and foreign language skills. These hands-on spaces are filled with materials and activities that are age-appropriate, engaging, and enjoyable. The classroom environment is carefully arranged to provide optimum self-guided learning.
Parent participation is encouraged at MCH and there are many opportunities for active involvement including parent work days, new parent orientation, visit school nights, end of year picnic, parent/teacher conferences, sharing talents with the class, field trip chaperones, etc.
A family’s commitment to Montessori shows a genuine belief in the basic premises of the philosophy and a welcoming of the methodology into their children’s lives. The role of the school, or the directress, is to see that every child has the most positive and productive learning experience possible.