As members of the staff of Woods Creek Montessori School, we believe that our role is to provide an atmosphere that respects each individual child and gives precedence to nurturing self-discipline, which then builds self esteem, and enables us to nurture the growth of the child in body, mind, and spirit. As Montessori teachers, we act as a catalyst and guide to help the child learn by doing. The level of difficulty in each lesson is presented in harmony with the child’s readiness and the child is able to feel a greater sense of success and independence. Each child is encouraged to choose their activities and work within the classroom structure which provides an atmosphere of order and respect. We create the environment, provide the lessons, and guide each child as the child develops his or her own powers of critical analysis, creative problem solving, fact absorption, and the capacity for loving and understanding responses to others.
What is Montessori, exactly?
A Look at Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori (1870-1952), one of the first women trained to be a doctor in Italy, began her life as an educator when working with ‘deficient’ children in a hospital setting. The more she observed these children, the more she realized their ability to learn. So through much observation of the children and study of the scientific and educational methods of the day, she set about creating activities and materials to assist the children in learning the skills that would allow them a sense of mastery and independence. She was soon asked to use her methods in the tenement community of San Lorenzo, Italy. She opened a school for the children of factory workers. It was the first of many Casa dei Bambini – “Children’s Houses” – which she opened for young children.
Dr. Montessori worked tirelessly to ascertain and meet the needs of each child – the whole child – mind, body and spirit. As a medical doctor, a scientist and an anthropologist, she observed the way of children – their developing minds and bodies, their personalities, their learning styles, and she used that knowledge to create a method of education. Her ingenious hands-on materials allowed the child to master a skill and understand a concept by working through the concrete level of discovery to the abstract level of thinking. Montessori’s ‘prepared environment’ best served each child because it was based on respectful interactions among all the people in the class – adults and children. How wonderful that a child’s first introduction to the world outside the family can be warm, comfortable and nurturing!
It is Montessori’s own philosophy and belief about children that makes the method and materials work. She believed that each child is a unique individual, always valuable in his/her own right who deserves an opportunity to learn and grow according to his/her own timetable. Every child is born with a purpose and it is his ‘work’ to discover and fulfill that purpose, and it is our work to guide each child along the way It takes discipline, courage and patience, and the child deserves every bit of help, guidance and time that he needs to discover who he is and how he can live his best life. Montessori said, “It is necessary, then, to give the child the possibility of developing according to the laws of his nature, so that he can be come strong, and, having become strong, can do even more than we dared hope. ”
It is our privilege and honor to guide your child along the way.