My child's teacher is knowledgeable about child development and this helps us in knowing what is expected. Rather than just looking at the behavior, the teachers try to understand why my child is acting a certain way and helps my child to take ownership for his/her actions.
My child's teachers encourage him/her to choose work that is challenging but not overwhelming. They only step-in to assist when they know my child needs assistance or asks for help. At home, he/she beams with joy when the work is done "on my own".
Giving children limited choices and helping them reflect upon the choices they make daily develops responsible decision making, which then leads to honesty and integrity. The beautiful part of Montessori philosophy is that mistakes are naturally looked as teachers. In an environment where my child learns that it is okay to make mistakes, but also learn from them, my child is learning to "always do the right thing".
In the time that our child has been at the school, my husband and I have seen immense growth in his/her sense of order, independence, confidence, social skills and most importantly patience and perseverance. All the teachers in our child's classroom are respectful and hold her/him appropriately accountable for personal actions. We wholeheartedly support the school's vision and see how hard the teachers and other staff, including assistant teachers, work to create consistency and a respectful environment where our child is nurtured as a unique individual. Suggestions and feedback are given us from a place of honesty and love, which helps remind us to be open to looking at the feedback objectively in order to help her/him reach his/her optimum potential. Congrats on your rating of #2 elementary school in the state, Khalsa Montessori - your work is yielding amazing results!
I would say it's 4 1/2 stars. We have had our children at this elementary school for over 5 years (and 3 years before at the primary school) and they have thrived in its supportive environment. All along, they have been partners in our challenges to address our kids' special needs and at the same time, they have expected them to challenge themselves. Our children know themselves and their capabilities at a level that I did not experience as a child.
My daughters independence, problem solving and peer to peer conflict resolution skills have truly blossomed at this school. My daughter is completing her 2nd year at Khalsa. Her teacher has been at Khalsa for 30 years and clearly cares deeply about her students. Of all the schools I visited, this school had the most experienced Montessori certified teachers, all of whom share a long history of commitment to the school. It's no coincidence that the students at this school were just ranked 2nd in Arizona based on AZ Merit scores. Each staff member has treated my child with dignity and respect and has helped her develop her creativity, free thinking and independence.
The basic foundational principles of the Montessori Method guide every aspect of this school. This school is pure Montessori at its finest! Maria Montessori created an educational philosophy which by its very nature and design develops intrinsically motivated, creative, free thinking, independent children.
This school places a strong emphasis on empowering students and teaching conflict resolution skills. All staff are consistent in their approach when facilitating a dialog between students. Staff members teach students how to communicate their feelings with each other, acknowledge other peoples feelings and express empathy for each other in the process.