Having worked in education for the last 15 years, I could not be more impressed with the experiences that my son is having in the first six months at Greenspring Montessori. He is in the Children’s House and within such a short amount of time has demonstrated a love of learning, a growing sense of pride with his own accomplishments, and desire to care for the world around him. All of these changes that have occurred in the classroom have been brought home.
I can’t speak to all classrooms, but the dynamic between the lead guide (teacher) and assistant in his classroom is outstanding. His lead guide understands his interest and strengths so well that she is able to determine just the right way to push his learning to the next level. When I read the weekly reports and hear the specific learning that has occurred, I am always impressed. In addition to the relationship that she has made with my son, she is also passionate about her craft as a Montessori educator and reflective about her practice. The assistant guide I think of as meeting and supporting the emotional needs of my little guy. I remember the first time being called that he was feverish and needed to be picked up. As a mom of a new school-age kid, I was initially nervous and anxious. But, I was so relived to see the assistant guide sitting with him in the nurse’s office, making him smile, and trying to get him to drink some water.
In addition to the culture of my son’s individual classroom, I have been impressed with the overall community of the school. Whenever I meet another adult on campus, they have been personable and receptive – with a majority of them sharing a personal anecdote about my son. I have come to learn that there are many ways that the community purposefully creates opportunities for cross age experiences and learning from each other. Just this week, I was pleased to learn that an upper level teacher was planning to attend a session with a math instruction consultant at the age level below her group.
I will say my only frustration was during the admission process with communication. I later learned that there was a transition happening in the admission department, which was probably a source of challenge.
For our family, we knew that our son would thrive in a Montessori environment and Greenspring Montessori School has exceeded our expectations.
We have two kids at GMS. One in children's house and one in the toddler program. We could not be more happy with the programs. Our teachers are fantastic and our oldest is already developing a love of learning that surprises me everyday. I highly recommend this school.
My two children have attended this school from toddler into Elementary and we couldn't be happier with the high quality guidence and nuturing they have recieved through the years. Thanks to Greenspring Montessori, they are knowledgable about world-wide cultures, plants, animals, ect. I love the shelves packed with anything and everything your child would ever want to learn about in such a beautiful environment! I wish I had acess to the math materials when I was in my formative years! What a gift for these chidren. The teachers are so dedicated and kind, my children always feel secure and happy. The "grace and courtesy" lessons they recieved in their toddler and primary years have shaped them into courteous and thoughtful citizens. Thank you Greenspring for the hundreds of meaningful lessons, opportunities to bake, garden, sew, ect, and exposure to an International expression of community! We feel blessed to be a part of this unique and nurturing community throughout the years. We are especially impressed with the passionate leadership and dedication into making Greenspring Montessori better every year!
I cannot speak to the younger levels, but the new administration and faculty are doing a terrible job with the elementary. They are not working in the best interest of the child and are giving Montessori a bad name. What they call "authentic Montessori" is NOT how Montessori is supposed to be. My family has had a horrific experience with this school and I would strongly advise anyone looking for elementary age children to look elsewhere!
My son is currently enrolled in the Toddler program so I can only speak of that. When my husband and I was looking for primary schools in the area, we immediately realized that no other school we looked at came close to the class room environment that we observed from GMS. I appreciate the fact that they give us weekly updates and photos taken from their classroom. I am also grateful that the community helped us when it came to potty training our son. If not for the push & encouragement from them, we wouldn't have been able to potty train our son this early. It was my son's guides who told us that our son is ready and willing to learn to use the potty. There are regular coffee & conversations that catered to the various needs of the parents, an avenue to air out concerns. I just wish they were at a more convenient time because I do have to work my schedule around it. Most important of all my son is happy and thriving. The only down side we had to deal with is the expense and flexibility of pick up for working parents like us and we regretfully had to make a decision to move our son to another school because of that. GMS is a great school and I wish we could stay.
I am blown away by some of the comments posted on this site. It goes to show the different experiences that people have. I could not be happier with my experience with GMS. I have a child currently enrolled. My child has been here for a little over a year now. This is our first experience with Montessori and I could not be happier. I have older children as well, and, to be honest, I am not sure it would be the best fit for one of them in particular. The Montessori method of teaching may not work with every child, especially if they are coming from different learning experiences or have different needs, but it is indeed the best fit for my child currently attending GMS. The love and care demonstrated by the guides in the classroom is unmatched. The skills taught in the classrooms go far beyond ABCs and 123s, they develop our children as thoughtful, caring, independent, confident young people. I could not be happier with GMS and am so grateful to the administration and the staff for all they do for our children.
I am so sorry to say how disappointing and honestly incredibly upsetting my family's experience has been with Greenspring Montessori. The new administration and some of the elementary teachers are creating an incredibly unfriendly atmosphere with a complete lack of community or desire to work with families.. Any child who dos not fit their mold of the "ideal Montessori child" is told Montessori is not right for their child. This is completely contrary to Maria Montessori's true philosophy, vision and teachings. Greenspring is giving Montessori a bad name. Montessori education is supposed to be about community, empowering children, meeting the needs of each individual child and supporting their learning and growth in every area of development. Greenspring "Montessori" has warped the vision of "authentic Montessori," done an terrible disservice to many children. Please do not judge Montessori on his horrible school. Sadly there are not many Montessori schools for elementary in the Baltimore area. To see Montessori elementary the way it is meant to be visit Chesapeake Montessori School (AMI) in Annapolis or the Montessori School of Northern Virginia (AMS) in Annandale, VA.
My children are very happy at GMS. It is definitely a different way of educating - and a different way of thinking about what our children are capable of. I find myself learning from the community outreach - and self-reflecting - often on ways I could be supporting my children in thinking more on their own, developing and seeing through their own ideas, and even in supporting the people they are developing into. I am so grateful for GMS - and how they see and believe in my children. Montessori has really facilitated my children learning to think for - and be - proud, confident, and compassionate - and themselves!
Greenspring Montessori: There is something wrong with your child, they can't learn. Parents: Seek professional help, have the child tested. Nothing out of the ordinary. Greenspring Montessori: There is something wrong with your child, they can't learn. Parents: Not a single professional outside the school has found a learning issue. Greenspring Montessori: There is something wrong with your child, they can't learn. Parents: New school Child: Leading class participation, no issues, no homework problems, teachers consider the child to be more mature than classmates. Parents conclusion: Montessori has a problem. Every child is unique, but if they can't learn here, they are the problem. There are some very good teachers at this school, but for the most part leadership can't get past the righteousness of Montessori being the best and most successful teaching method on the planet and come to terms with the simple idea that not all children are the same. Ironic.