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
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.
2. Teacher Tenure and Turnover Rate
Another factor to consider before enrolling your child in a Montessori 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 programs rarely leave their work, thus expanding their teaching experience.
Therefore, a teacher with a long tenure is an indication that the Montessori program is authentic.
3. 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.
4. A Learning Environment With Orderly Classrooms and Intentional Work Cycles
The classroom environment and work cycles are a crucial part of Montessori education.
Classrooms are intentionally prepared environments because they are venues for all learning and developmental activity.
Materials on the shelves are organized with intentionality. The scope and sequence allowing the child to see his/her progress while creating intrinsic motivation.
In a Montessori program, teachers guide the students to develop a love of learning by preparing an environment full of interest and curiosity. The students have uninterrupted work cycles where they receive small group lessons and work independently.
During these uninterrupted work cycles or periods, children work independently on hands-on experiments and activities their teachers have prepared.
This type of structure is helpful for developmental years because it helps children to develop a sense of security from routine and order. It also teaches responsibility and independence as the children go about discovering themselves.
5. 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, grace and courtesy, such as how to close a door without causing a 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.
6. 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 also recognize parents as valuable partners in their children’s educational journey. Therefore, an A-rated Montessori school 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 a community with other guardians.
When looking for a Montessori school as a parent, it is critical to 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.