Congratulations on a great first week!

Hello Friends,
Congratulations to everyone on a great first week! We are all on our own unique journey. Some of us are learning about our community and dropping off children at The New School Montessori for the first time. Others have spent the last eight years with us and are watching their 6th grade child confidently begin their final academic year on our campus. Many of us are somewhere in between. The one thing we have in common is an appreciation for the Montessori method and wanting the absolute best for our children.


I know you have all done your research and chose TNSM for good reasons. Maybe it is the intimate size of the community. Maybe it’s our nutritious food program. Maybe it’s our dual accreditation from the American Montessori Society and the Independent Schools of Associated States. It probably is a little bit of everything. Whatever influenced your decision most, the Montessori Method had to be a part of it.


Some of us have a deep understanding around the pedagogy and philosophy created by Dr. Maria Montessori. Some of us are learning and asking great questions. In our effort to promote lifelong learning, I will be providing resources throughout the year for our parent community to deepen their understanding around the Montessori Method and all the lingo that goes along with it. Here are a few words from AMS literature that reflect our approach to learning and school culture.
The Montessori Method is a child-centered educational approach that recognizes the child as naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning when provided with a supportive, thoughtfully prepared environment and sequential, hands-on learning materials.  It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the child as a whole.  
Children are to be respected as different from adults and as unique individuals, each developing at his or their own pace, according to specific developmental stages. 
The Prepared Environment
To set the stage for self-directed and joyful learning to take place, the entire classroom setting is thoughtfully prepared by the teacher to encourage exploration, independence, freedom within limits, beauty and harmony, and a sense of order and trust. The child, through individual choice, makes use of what the environment offers to develop him or herself, interacting with the teacher when support or guidance is needed.  
The Teacher
The Montessori teacher functions as a role model, guide, demonstrator,  meticulous observer and recorder of each student’s behavior and growth.  Like her students, she is an active and curious learner. The program of study required to become an AMS-credentialed Montessori teacher is specialized and extensive.  


The Multiage Classroom
The three-year groupings of students provide a family-like setting, where learning can take place naturally. more experienced children share what they have learned, while reinforcing their own learning. Younger students look up to their older “siblings” and get a preview of the work to come.  Ideally, members stay with the class (and teacher) for the entire cycle, forging a stable community and meaningful bonds.  
How is creativity encouraged?
IMG_0018.jpegWith an emphasis on guiding children to follow their curiosity and become active, confident problem solvers and thinkers who delight in self-expression, the Montessori classroom is founded on the essential nature of creativity across all curricular areas, including not only the arts, such as music, drama, and visual design, but also the academic components. Materials that inspire interest, involvement, and experimentation; opportunities for exploration, discovery, and work without interruption; a multi-sensory approach to learning that support each child’s unique style; and an atmosphere of freedom, acceptance, and trust work together to create a vibrant atmosphere in which curiosity flourishes.  
I look forward to enjoying our journey together as we continue to grow as Montessorians. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you on Monday!
Jeff Groh
PS.  Here is a link to a YouTube video, illustrating some more highlights related to the Montessori Method.  Please excuse the introductory ads.

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