Visit Our Classroom
"Montessori" is one of those things that is difficult to describe, to put into words. And while we do our best to sum it up when asked, there is simply no substitute for seeing a classroom in action. Watching the children move freely from one activity to the next, observing the quiet role of the adult, noticing classmates independently working out a conflict . . .. Spending just a few minutes in a busy Montessori classroom will tell you far more about "Montessori" than any article, video, or other explanation.
Here are many of the typical responses that we hear from first-time observers of our classroom:
When you first enter the space, what you feel is striking–a pervasive sense of calmness, respect, and joy. The teachers exude a warmth that is palpable. Visitors are welcomed; children greet one another. Everyone is happy to be here, adults and children alike.
Inside the classroom, what you notice is unusual–an environment that is completely child-centered and learning-focused. From small furniture to glass dishes, the classroom is a home-like setting. The learning materials are meticulously presented and maintained, infused with the richness and beauty of the natural world.
What you observe warms your heart–children exploring, eating snack, chatting, sweeping the floor, learning, playing, reading a book, giggling. You think to yourself, "I wish I had gone to a school like this."
It is remarkable–this hive of activity where children are working independently or collaboratively, at tables or on floor rugs, talking animatedly or quietly concentrating . . . and all at the same time. Each is engaged in work that is personally meaningful.
- You realize that this is extraordinary–rare, a palpable sense of pride emanating from the children. The teacher is not easy to find, often sitting back to observe and take notes or sitting on the floor working one-on-one with a student.
At Montessori Nature School, a young person’s question is met with another question, an invitation to explore and discover, rather than just an answer. Here, our youngest citizens learn how to learn, to solve problems, to focus on the task at hand, and to work together as a community. And of course, we sing songs, create artistic masterpieces, and play together (they are children after all.)