Thanks so much to the teachers at TMES. I know your job is not easy and the pay is not high. But your students really love you and you are the glue that holds the school together. If it wasn't for the caring, effective teachers, we would have left TMES long ago.
The music program really helps develop this. Students only succeed in the program if they practice their instruments and get better. My son is independently motivated to practice his instrument because he wants to get better, and he wants his teacher to be proud of him. It is a great tool for developing persistence.
I do feel that sometimes classroom discipline is lax until the teacher loses patience, and then things tend to go to the other direction reactively, and things will happen like - every child will have to read silently for two hours and they cannot talk. From what I understand from friends, classroom discipline is a big issue everywhere these days, because teachers are so limited in what they can and can't do to discipline disruptive students.
I do feel that the teachers are invested in helping students learn to solve their own interpersonal problems in a peaceful way. I have heard other people complain about bullying but every time our son has had an interpersonal problem, his teacher (whoever it was) was quick to respond in a way that helped my son and the other child work their issues out calmly and productively.
Our son has been at TMES for several years. There are good things and bad things about the school, as I imagine there are about every school. The school is wonderful for children - I truly believe that. My son is reading three grades above his grade level and doing math one grade above his level, and the art and music programs have taught him a lot. The school is not great for families, and does very little to engage parents in school activities beyond fundraising. As a parent, your input is not valued or welcomed, or even really accepted. If you have a problem with the school or the administration - one that you feel could be addressed, or one you are willing to help them fix - the attitude is very much "tough luck." The principal has been known to say to people, we have a waiting list a mile long of people who want into this school. So if you have a problem here, you're free to leave and someone is waiting to take your child's place. You as a parent have to learn to deal with a lot of incompetence, lack of communication, and disorganization, and know that not only will it not change, but if you say anything about it, you will be seen as a disruptive malcontent. Simple things like emails about schedules for testing or field trips, getting permission slips in a timely manner, or getting invoiced for after care on a routine schedule don't happen at TMES. And there is nothing you can do about it. The administration sees no reason to change what they are doing.
HOWEVER. While the administration of the school lacks a lot, the teachers at the school are fantastic, and really care about their students. We have only had one teacher who was absolutely unwilling to work with us to meet our son's educational needs - and the school allowed us to quickly transfer our son to another teacher's class before the school year started. There has been some teacher and EA turnover, but from talking to my friends with kids at other schools - that is happening everywhere. There are some great opportunities for students, like weekly art and music classes and overnight field trips.
The music and arts teachers are AMAZING! The teachers love of art and music is shared with the children. The children know and understand the teachers' passions. The kids come home with new composers and artists techniques in their minds. The children tell us about the discipline it takes to truly pursue musical and artistic lives. THANK YOU for the lessons. They are burnished into young minds forever.
I am so glad that this question is asked. Thank you "GREAT SCHOOLS" for prompting this. No, I do not sense that this school fosters persistence, grit or determination. Schools can do so much to create a healthy community of strong, diligent, hardworking students!
TMMS, The Montessori Middle School Review.
The middle school is attached to the Elementary School. I am reading the comments regarding academic performance, and this is of concern. In middle school the teachers are very lax about testing, competence, achievement. Their hands are full with the children with very distinct special needs, however, they do not address the needs of the higher achiever. We are leaving this school because the teachers, test coordinators and principal do not address these issues.
In regards to TMES, our experience with the teachers have been really good. I am afraid that change has caused disruption and this school no doubt has had much change over the last years.
The teachers do take pride and overarching concern for each student. They are the gems of the school. Changes in enrollment, and teacher staffing have taken their toll on planning issues. What stops this school from being an excellent school are some common issues that often elementary schools face: leadership and lack of vision. The school deals with the tedium of minutiae. Academic performance does take a back seat to other details. Leadership with a strong backbone for curriculum and teacher appreciation and support (minus teacher nepotism) would create the identity and mission that TMES currently lacks. Music is a highlighted aspect of the school. Hopefully this area will become more robust with time. The school does have a desperate need for a lunch space/common auditorium, indoor gym, dedicated outdoor space for recess.
Again, I emphasize the strengths of certain individual teachers that create the daily experience for the children. The 4 star support is of the exceptional and dedicated teachers, without the handful of them this school would receive 2 stars from me.
TMES (elementary) & TMMS (middle school) is a wonderful school. The teachers, staff and administration are all very dedicated, caring and loving towards students and families. All of the teachers are state certified and also Montessori trained. Every student gets weekly general music, suzuki music and visual art. It is amazing the strides my child has taken in one school year! The new building is incredible. Each classroom is large with real Montessori material. There are Educational Assistant's in each classroom. There are more students in each classroom, but if you know anything about Montessori, you know that is so they form a 'community' and with the EA in the classroom, the few extra students are not a problem, it is actually a positive thing since they learn from each other. The school does do 2 large fundraising events every year to raise money for the EA's in the classroom since the state does not fund EA's salary. But MOST of the parents realize that the benefit to having an EA in the classroom outweigh a little extra effort from families on fundraisers. It is obvious the 3 reviews previous to mine were written by the same disgruntled, person. We LOVE TMES!