Some schools are more traditional, others are more flexible, taking into account changes in culture, research, and technology and incorporating these into the school’s culture. Be sure the philosophy of the school matches your personal parenting philosophy.
Dr. Montessori was very precise about the responsibilities of her teachers. Her method was specialized and she wanted teachers to receive training specific to the method. When choosing a school, ask about the qualifications of their teachers. All teachers should have or be in the process of obtaining their Montessori certification.
Using Your Senses
Maria Montessori believed that education occurred through the refinement of the senses. When visiting a potential Montessori school, use your senses to understand the environment.
Observe the environment. Is it neat and orderly? Is it free from clutter and distractions? Are the Montessori materials prominently displayed? Is there plenty of floor space for children to spread out and work? Are the children smiling and happy? Are they engaged in their purposeful work?
Notice what is being said and how it is being said. Is there respect for the child? Are there choices being offered? Do you hear words of encouragement or words of punishment? Is there laughter and joy?
Is this someplace that you would want to be every day? Would you have liked it as a child? Does it feel homey and secure? Do you feel welcome? How does your child greet you at the end of the day? Is he happy and can’t wait for school the next day?
If you have the opportunity, visit multiple Montessori Schools before you make a final choice. While word-of-mouth is often the Montessori School’s best advertising, you owe it to your child to personally visit and spend time at the schools to know which is best for your child. Only then will you be able to make a wise choice.