What to Look For in a Montessori Classroom
A hallmark of the Montessori method of education is the respect given to the unique individuality of each child.
We require every prospective parent to visit the Center for an observation. This observation (30–45 minutes) allows the parent to see what we are and how Montessori principles are put into practice here. This visit gives you the chance to meet staff and ask whatever questions you may have. Since we can only accommodate one family at a time, these visits are scheduled by appointment in the mornings.
Distinctive Attributes of a Montessori Environment
- It is an ordered, secure environment prepared by the Directress to meet the individual and group needs of each child under her care.
- The adults refer to her as the Directress as her role is to guide and direct the children in their learning activities, rather than to "teach" them.
- Children of mixed age groups (ideally ranging from 2-1/2 to 6 years) and of different abilities work side by side in the same environment.
- Each class has a wide range of activities and a complete set of Montessori materials from a recognized manufacturer. These should included the following: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and areas of culture to include art, music, science, and all aspects of the natural world. These materials should be available for the children's use throughout every session.
- Is the room attractive?
- Are the materials in good condition?
- Are the materials visible and easily accessible to the children?
- Does the room seem orderly and well cared for?
- Does she seem comfortable and relaxed in the room?
- Does she speak softly and gently to the children?
- Does she move slowly and gracefully?
- Does she respond to the children appropriately?
- Does she treat each child with respect and courtesy?
- Do the children obey her cheefully and readily?
- Do they show many periods of involvement with work?
- Do they handle the materials carefully and replace them after use?
- Do they work well on their own or in small groups?
- Do they show initiative and problem solving skills?
- Do they show an ability to work harmoniously/cooperatively together?
- Do they ask for help when they need it?
- Do they seem happy in the classroom?