What is Montessori and Why Should You Care

February 1, 2019

So, What is Montessori and Why should you care……..

Facts:
The Montessori Method is one theory for educating children. Maria Montessori was the first women physician in Italy (1897). Montessori is a specialized, complete, teacher training that prepares teachers to use Montessori theory, incorporate a comprehensive Montessori curriculum, and thorough Montessori practices in their classrooms.

Opinions and experiences:
Montessori is a ‘way of being’ with children, which is being ‘in allowance’ for creative possibilities and at the very same time, walking the razors edge of providing leadership and lessons for “this is how we do things”.

For me, Montessori is the most natural way of educating children. It was so similar, so ‘in line’ with my parenting style; a perfect match.

If she would have been less vocal in her political opinions, and if our country didn’t need factory workers at the time, our educational system would have adopted Montessori and we would have all gone to Montessori schools. Maria Montessori was politically unpopular for her time (also a political refugee fleeing fascist Italy) and above everything, she was a woman (1870-1952). Our country needed workers: not collaborative, creative, inquisitive, questioning, inquiry from children.

I hear so many different opinions about Montessori. “It’s too structured”, “It doesn’t provide structure”, “The classrooms are controlled”, “The classrooms are anarchy”. All of these opinions may be true too. Because on any given day, the children may demonstrate needing freedom, or needing structure. We learn what they need through our observations of their behaviors, movements, and language. And as their teachers, we provide the children a prepared classroom and we respond to their demonstrated needs.

What Montessori isn’t. It isn’t a teacher leading an entire class through an exercise, or a lesson, or telling them to drink water or eat snack, with all children moving at the same time to the same place. Montessori isn’t a teacher pre-determining what a child needs to do or learn.

I mean, we have an idea of a direction the child can be heading, but above all, we follow the child’s needs and tendencies. As Montessori teachers, we are taught to observe and respond, to listen and nurture and fan the natural flame of each bright, individual light. Montessori in its purest form nourishes peaceful communication, calm decisions, kindness, and care; everyone is important.

If your child is attending a Montessori school, with talented and trained teachers, your child is known and responded to. Mostly true for each of us, our basic human needs and tendencies; to be seen, listened to, and cared for.

Helping to care for what you care about most,

Hey!  I'm Donna founder of Midtown Montessori in Santa Cruz, California.  I'm here hoping to make Montessori style more mainstream because we sure could use more people who LOVE themselves, each other, and the planet.  I would love to hear from you, feel free to reach out here with questions, interest in enrollment, topics you would like covered or just comment below.  Bottom line:  don't be a stranger!

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