The Five Critical Factors That Determine the Quality of a Montessori Program
Montessori programs offer environments that are pleasing in appearance, tidy, and simple. All the elements in the Montessori style programs have a purpose to foster child development. They also integrate children of various ages in the same classroom to promote respect, socialization, and solidarity among children naturally.
Top Montessori schools provide the learners with opportunities to freely choose and commit to interesting activities which enhance long periods of concentration.
The Montessori program prides itself in using the best teachers to stimulate and help children develop inner discipline and confidence by allowing them to think, want, and act by themselves.
What should you look for in a Montessori School?
Although many schools claim to offer Montessori programs, you may need to verify the authenticity of their curriculum and ensure it meets the foundational standards.
Here are the vital factors that determine the quality of a Montessori Program.
1. Teacher Training and Teacher Tenure
Trustworthy high-quality Montessori programs employ the best teachers who have training standards of the American Montessori Society or the Association Montessori International. Montessori teachers are professionals and qualified to handle all kinds of learners.
An excellent Montessori program is an A-rated curriculum that focuses more on the learners than on the educators. For this reason, teachers are aware that their duties are to support and guide the students as they pursue learning on their own. Montessori trained teachers do this by designing creative learning opportunities that stir up the child’s learning process.
Another factor to consider before enrolling your child in a primary school is the turnover rate. Even though this is not related to Montessori programs, it is still crucial in a school.
Top Montessori schools have teachers with long teaching tenure. Teachers who have discovered authentic Montessori programs rarely leave their work, thus expanding their teaching experience. A teacher with a long tenure is an indication that the Montessori program is authentic.
2. Multi-age Classroom and Length of Class Time
One crucial factor to look out for is the mixed-age group. An authentic Montessori program groups learners together into three-year age spans. For instance, they always have second graders included in this age grouping with six and seven-year-old kids rather than splitting second graders into a different class.
It utilizes the multi-age classroom set-up to advance the children’s social skills, communication skills, and interaction skills. Multi-age classrooms provide curious learning opportunities, where the young children learn quickly by emulating the older ones. Younger children naturally learn to participate in classroom activities by watching older peers. On the other hand, older students also benefit from the multi-age classroom by giving them a chance to be leaders and mentors.
In addition, top Montessori schools have long uninterrupted work time designed to promote concentration. During this work time, the learners receive lessons from teachers without interruptions from their self-chosen activities.
3. A Learning Environment With Orderly Classrooms and Prepared Workstations
Montessori classrooms are intentionally prepared environments because they are venues for all learning and developmental activity.The attention to detail helps children to develop a sense of security from routine and order. The organized classroom fosters responsibility and independence as the children go about discovering themselves. In the Montessori program, the educators prepare a broad range of learning activities for learners.
Top Montessori schools have workstations specifically designed to offer differentiated learning opportunities that facilitate multiple learning styles. These workstations help preschoolers to carry out hands-on experiments and challenge kids to work in teams to accomplish certain learning activities. Some workstations have designs that encourage independent learning, while others give the children the freedom to choose the learning activity for the given day. Finally, all learning activities in a Montessori program are valuable and the children benefit from any activity they choose.
4. A Supportive Community and an Atmosphere of Mutual Respect
The purpose of a Montessori program is to develop intellect and emotional intelligence. That begins by teaching respect, courtesy, and grace, such as how to close a door without causing disturbance, introduce friends, and borrow politely. Children in Montessori programs learn to respect their peers and educators as they coexist as a community that supports each individual.
5. Encourages Independence and Emphasizes Parent Participation
Unlike traditional learning programs that direct students and expect a specific outcome from all students, a Montessori learning model facilitates independence by allowing children to learn bit by bit, with each academic milestone supporting the development of the next stage. The setting has the best teachers that ensure every learner has an intrinsic desire to acquire knowledge when allowed to learn in a manner compatible with their strengths and learning styles.
Montessori programs recognize parents as valuable partners in their children’s educational journey. A-rated Montessori schools emphasize parental involvement because it is crucial to a learner’s success. Consequently, the Montessori Method develops opportunities to entice parents to visit the classroom, watch, and interact with their children. Some of the ways it encourages parents to participate are through parenting workshops, volunteering in school activities, and developing community with other guardians.
When looking for a Montessori school as a parent, it is critical that you visit the school to see if it checks the Montessori trademarks and qualifications.
The factors that mark a quality Montessori program are a comprehensive educational model that utilizes a prepared environment to help the child grow emotionally, physically, and academically. It gives the children freedom to explore and select the learning activity, thus enhancing independence among learners. Finally, a quality Montessori program also encourages multi-age classrooms to promote socialization among children of various ages.
If you are looking for a quality elementary and middle school Montessori, near the Tampa area, consider Countryside Montessori Charter School (CMCS). CMCS is truly a special place for your children to learn.