How To Choose A Montessori Garden And School And Recognize A Fake: 11 Important Signs

How To Choose A Montessori Garden And School And Recognize A Fake: 11 Important Signs
How To Choose A Montessori Garden And School And Recognize A Fake: 11 Important Signs

Video: How To Choose A Montessori Garden And School And Recognize A Fake: 11 Important Signs

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To help parents choosing a kindergarten or school for next year, we asked Tatyana Abramova, Montessori teacher and coordinator of direction 0-3 of the Flashlight Family Club, to explain how a real kindergarten or a Montessori school differs from those whose employees have a vague idea of ​​this method …

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Not all Montessori are created equal. Unfortunately, many kindergartens just hide behind a promoted brand, not really understanding the method. In the west, there are even special names for such educational institutions: Montesomething, Montessortof, Wantassori and others. The quality of education in such centers is low, and prices are the same as in real Montessori schools. This undermines the reputation of all Montessori centers, the method itself, makes the unfortunate Maria Montessori roll over in her grave, and of course, I feel sorry for the children too.

At best, the site of such centers says "Classes with elements of Montessori." This usually means that the director bought some wooden toys for the children. There is no more difference from the almost free group of short-term stays in the state garden.

In the worst case, the site says “Montessori” in large letters, there is a photo of Maria, a couple of articles about the method are posted, in general - do not dig in.

How, then, can you tell a fake from a real Montessori school? Here are 11 red flags to watch out for.

1. Abundance of group activities during the day

In Montessori, the group of group frontal classes should be at a minimum. Frontal - this is when the teacher tells something to the whole class, invests in it, so to speak, knowledge. In the right Montessori centers, usually such group lessons take place at the beginning and at the end of the lesson and do not last long, about 15 minutes. The rest of the time the child moves freely around the classroom, doing what he wants, with whom he wants, as much as he wants and in any way. The teacher, if necessary, gives individual lessons - presentations. This allows the child to learn to listen to himself, make choices, develop at his own pace and much more efficiently.

2. Walking in formation

The philosophy of Montessori is applied in good clubs not only in the classroom, but also in everyday aspects: children go to the toilet when they want, elders are not forced to sleep during the day, children are not forced to eat up everything that is on their plate.

3. All children of the same age in the group

Maria Montessori conditionally divided all children into age groups according to the tasks of the period: 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12. It is important that each group has children of different ages. Everything is simple here: the younger ones reach out for the elders, and the elders develop leadership qualities, empathy, and learn to care for those who are weaker.

4. Overloaded environment

The classroom should look neat, clean and aesthetically pleasing. Classroom shelves should not look "littered" with toys, especially bright, plastic and squeaky ones. The class must be conditionally divided into zones.

Pay attention to the SLA (Practical Life Exercises) area. It should occupy most of the classroom and should be close to the entrance. Children should be able to cook, practice pouring and pouring, learn to sweep, dust, iron, dress and undress themselves, and take care of themselves and the class. Ideally, there should be no more than two or three trays of materials on each shelf. Children carry trays for work on the rug or at the table.

5. Complete safety

A child who grew up among plastic dishes, toy knives and boxes, closed with restraints, did not smell life.In a Montessori environment, children get burned, cut, stumbled, bumped, smashed dishes, doused, stained and tore clothes. Simply put, from an early age they learn that everything is perishable in this world, especially ourselves. The good news: only after filling a sufficient number of cones can you learn to move neatly, only by pouring a hundred cups on your belly you can learn to drink some water yourself, only by pinching all your fingers and toes you can learn how to carefully close and open the drawers, and you don’t want to burn yourself on a candle several times climb into a burning fireplace. As Oscar Wilde said, people call their mistakes experience.

6. Expression "Harmoniously developed personality"

The task of Montessori pedagogy is not to pull up the child where he is weak, turning his personality into an even circle, but to awaken and lure, as Maria Montessori said, the spiritual embryo of the child, leading him to cognition. In other words, if you are promised that by the age of five the whole group will be reading, counting, embroidering with a cross and jumping 8 meters in length like a bayonet - run from there. The Montessori method is not about the result, but about curiosity and a sincere desire to learn.

7. Lack of diplomas

Teachers must have a Montessori education, confirmed by a certificate. Ideally, executives do the same.

8. Praise, punishment and competition

Real Montessori teachers do not praise, do not scold, do not punish, do not appreciate children at all. There should be no stickers, emoticons, suns and hearts for a job well done. There should be no competitive moments (who will get dressed faster, eat, fall asleep, and so on). This is necessary so that the child's internal motivation does not get confused by the external one.

9. Arrogance and rudeness towards children

It's great if teachers talk to children quietly, calmly and respectfully, listen to them attentively, squatting or a chair next to them in order to be at their level.

10. Educators look overwhelmed and unhappy

This applies not only to Montessori clubs. Find out if there is a large turnover in the kindergarten. Talk to every employee from cleaning lady to accountant. A wake-up call will be when colleagues complain about each other. A good leader tries to prevent the emotional burnout of teachers and to rally the team.

11. Too many guidelines

In general, excessive supervision by adults, especially at the end of the school year, is bad. So does the feeling of chaos in the classroom. Children in the Montessori group also learn self-discipline. Getting into the classroom, the kid absorbs the rules, literally, from the atmosphere. It is not difficult to observe them: they are convenient for the children themselves, correspond to common sense and are few in number. For example: do not run around the class, do not shout, do not fight, do not take away toys, put things away after you. The deathly silence in the group, however, is also bad. It means that children are too constrained and afraid to be themselves. Good - the feeling of a "swarm of bees": everyone is busy with their own business, no one bothers anyone, and there is a quiet hum in the room.

Marlene Barron, president of AMS (American Montessori Society) and Montessori educator with 45 years of experience, said that in a remote Chinese village there is a rickety shack with an earthen floor. There is no proverbial pink tower, no brown staircase, no classic Montessori material. But children of different ages study there, they themselves clean up at school, cook themselves, wipe the dust, plant plants, dress and undress themselves, help each other, follow their desires and interests, know how to set boundaries in a civilized manner, are not afraid of adults. This is the real Montessori school.

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