When deciding what the best school for your child will be, you want a place that can nurture their growing minds and help them reach their highest learning potential. For many parents and students alike, a Montessori education has provided a pathway for this intellectual expansion and development.
There are many options in the Triangle for primary and secondary education, including several Montessori schools. Montessori schools were founded based on the principles and teachings of visionary educator Maria Montessori and offer a unique way for students to learn through hands-on and independent work. While all children are no doubt unique and special in their own ways, here are six ways that Montessori-educated students consistently stand out from the rest.
They Are Capable at a Young Age
It is not uncommon to walk into a Montessori classroom and witness children using real glass cups, plates and knives – even in toddler classrooms. While it’s easy to cringe at the idea of a child using a knife to cut into an apple, Laura Morrison, a directress at the Montessori School of Raleigh, sees children safely do this everyday in her classroom.
“They have been taught,” Morrison explained. “We didn’t start with an apple. We started with a banana and a dull knife, and we talked about how to put your hand on the top, and how to keep your fingers away from the blade. And we practice with bananas, then cheese and now we’re on apples. There’s a maturity there because if we keep the bar low, they’re going to hit the bar and then be like, ‘OK, I hit my goal. What’s next?'”
Montessori gives children the opportunity to rise to the occasion of tackling new challenges instead of deciding for the child if and when they are ready for certain tasks.
They Are Confident Speakers
Have you ever seen a child speak with conviction and confidence in front of an assembly? With a Montessori education, public speaking is emphasized and soon becomes second nature. Students are presenting and teaching peers from early ages, and promoting confidence in group and individualized settings in and beyond the classroom. Montessori-educated children typically demonstrate confidence when speaking in public, which is an extraordinary ability amongst students their age.
Remember the lemonade stand you started when you were a child? It was a fun way to spend a hot summer day, and it gave you some money to spend on toys or treats. For middle school students at Montessori Community School in Durham, however, a venture into entrepreneurship led to an actual business model called Cool Beans.
Every morning, students sell coffee and tea to parents dropping off their children for the school day. All of this money goes to financing the class’s annual trip. In previous years, students earned enough money to send them as far as Puerto Rico.
The Montessori method of education is centered on a learning environment that is self-directed and hands-on. When children want to know how to run a business or handle finances, for example, they are guided to create a business themselves, like the young managers of Cool Beans.
They’re Team Players
If you step into any Montessori classroom, you’ll see children interacting with their peers more than with the adults – and that’s exactly what educators want. Students are encouraged to go to each other to ask for assistance, once again allowing curricular-based activities to mirror real life scenarios and interactions.
In the real world, people are required to interact with coworkers, roommates and their community. Montessori education builds essential skills in teamwork. “We’re all working together for the same end goal,” Morrison said. “So I think that when you have learned your whole life that way, or even a small portion of your life that way, you end up being not just a Montessori kid, but a Montessori adult.”
They Carry Connections into Adulthood
Montessori alumni say recognizing fellow Montessori kids is simple – they just have a different way of looking at things due to the self-directed nature of learning they received. Aside from having an expansive worldview that allows Montessori children to draw connections others might miss, Montessori students sustain the connections they make in elementary school far into the future.
Tim Daniel, head of Montessori Community School in Durham, said he is constantly hearing about students who keep in touch with their elementary school friends, as well as with former teachers and faculty, long after they’ve left school grounds. “That says something about the experience,” he said of the alumni keeping in such close contact.
They Own Their Education
One of the biggest aspects of Montessori education is the freedom it gives children to take ownership of many decisions within their own education, instead of their education being dictated or led by teachers, mandated curriculum or tests. Since three grade levels are in a single classroom, it becomes easier for students to jump ahead in work, or to ask a peer or teacher for help if they can’t quite figure something out. Daniel said he has heard of this behavior following students into high school and beyond.
“Our students are not shy about going up to a teacher after class and saying ‘Could you explain this to me one more time?'” Daniel said. “Or asking a teacher to restate the purpose of the project or confirm that the student is on the right track.”
While Montessori isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to education, it certainly has an impact on the students it serves, preparing them well not only for college but for life as well.
Source | Learn more: https://www.wral.com/6-ways-montessori-kids-stand-out-from-the-rest/18733460/