When you look through the window of a Montessori Children’s Academy classroom, you immediately sense that something is different. Whether in small groups or alone, children are engaged and enthusiastic about their “work” – the term Dr. Montessori used to describe the activities that await students on the classroom shelves. Their concentration is evident as they practice controlling their movements while carrying work to a table or a rug. They are intent upon completing tasks and they do so with interest and enjoyment. It is clear that, in a childlike way, they have appreciation for the materials available to them and respect for each other, their teachers and their school environment.
One of the hallmarks of Montessori is its carefully prepared, beautiful, organized environment filled with an abundance of the highest quality Montessori materials. At MCA, this environment is where children explore, problem solve and learn by using these unique and increasingly complex materials and through interacting with their peers.
Every aspect of Montessori is designed to provide a learning opportunity. Lessons are carefully designed to guide children to materials that will build academic readiness, skills and proficiency. Independent and group learning activities develop social awareness and maturity, while taking turns, helping others and caring for the classroom and pets foster responsibility and respect for self and friends. Respect is a core value in a Montessori classroom and it is evident in the close relationships children form at MCA between one another and their teachers.
The success of the Montessori method requires that teachers possess the training and ability to guide each individual child to the specific learning experiences that he or she is ready for and to provide lessons that will instruct and inspire. In addition to an undergraduate degree, all Head Teachers at MCA have their Montessori certification and many have other certifications as well. Every teacher is also required to continue his or her education through teacher training workshops, continuing education programs, professional development seminars and Montessori conferences throughout the year.
From our toddlers to our elementary students, to our most experienced teachers, to our parents – the Montessori philosophy seeks to promote amongst all a strong sense of community and the importance of respect, tolerance and responsibility for ourselves, one another and our world. At MCA, children, teachers, parents and staff all work together to create classroom communities where we share our successes, work through problems and help each other to be the best that we can be. By nurturing children in such an environment, Dr. Montessori hoped to inspire children to make a difference in the greater world, and at MCA, we are committed to making that happen.
Watch Daniel C. Petter-Lipstein's YouTube video “Superwoman Was Already Here!” to learn why Dr. Maria Montessori's method of teaching and learning is so exceptional. Daniel C. Petter-Lipstein is the father of three Montessori students that thrive at a Jewish Montessori school in New Jersey.
“The first duty of an education is to stir up life, but leave it free to develop.”