Choosing the right school for your child is a complex decision that should include examining the characteristics of your child, your family and the school itself. For example, if a commitment to the environment is important to you and your family’s belief system, your child’s school should reflect this commitment.
During the decision-making process, it is important that your visit to the facilities you are considering include some of the following:
- A meeting with a director of the school
- A school tour
- An information evening or open house
- An opportunity to observe a classroom in action.
Following these experiences, you should have a good sense of the school’s philosophies, curriculum and whether it is the right fit for your child and your family.
The name Montessori refers to a method and philosophy but it is not a protected name and it cannot be patented. It is important for parents to know which schools uphold the highest standards of excellence for Montessori education. Unfortunately, there are “monte-somethings” out there using the name “Montessori”.
To ensure you are visiting an authentic Montessori School, look for the following:
1. The school should have a connection to a professional organization, such as the Canadian Council for Montessori Administrators (CCMA).
2. Each classroom should have a full complement of age group appropriate specially designed Montessori materials.
3. The Director should promote and encourage non-interactive classroom observations for prospective parents and for parents of children enrolled in the school.
4. The classrooms should be beautiful, bright, spacious and should look more like a “Children’s House” than a typical classroom. For example, the furniture should be child sized and placed strategically about the room rather than desks set in rows; artwork should be hung at a child’s eye level.
5. The classroom teachers must have their diplomas from a reputable Montessori teacher-training centre, such as Toronto Montessori Institute (TMI) or Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).
6. In addition to the classroom teacher, there needs to be one or two classroom assistants, depending on the number of children enrolled.
7. Lastly, true Montessorians love to talk Montessori. If you’re not getting a sense of passion and dedication from the staff, be concerned.
8. Read more here: https://www.alive.com/family/simplifying-school-search/
From our first visit to the school, we were taken by the warm and inspiring environment. The experience we've had for the last 3 years is one that we can't recommend highly enough. The teachers are not only passionate about Montessori learning in their classroom but also connected with the parents to bridge that gap in the home environment
Laura Jane & Nick
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