I love my boys' teachers. I will say that in Montessori since it is student centered instead of teacher centered you don't have to have the "perfect" teacher for your child to thrive. However, having said that I still have been very impressed and happy.
Homework is not given besides spelling words to practice. At first I didn't like this and thought my kids would fall behind. Boy, have I changed my perspective! I know my boys are way ahead of traditional education and they do zero homework (I had my kids tested to confirm this). Instead we are free as a family to make dinner together, build forts outside, ride bikes, play sports, collect rocks, do chores, design our "dream" house, etc. My kids are just allowed to be kids and they gain far more knowledge then if they were filling out worksheets.
In the Montessori environment problem solving is developed as the answers are not given to them or the method to get the answers is not just given to them but rather students are often left to grapple/explore/wrestle through a problem because it's just as important to develop these problem solving skills as it is to solve the problem itself.
Respect for kids, environment, the world, our classroom, pets/animals, teachers, etc. are a daily occurrence that is not only talked about but practiced. There are many examples I could give for this but one in particular I love is that students are giving chores to do at the end of every day teaching them that it is their classroom and their responsibility to care for it. It is not someone else's job to clean up after you. I absolutely love that and have seen the students foster a love and respect for their classroom and the materials in it.
Because the classrooms are mixed grades older students are given leadership responsibilities which includes looking out for and caring for young students. I have seen my older son develop compassion and empathy based on this added responsibility. I have never seen the younger students looked down upon by older students because these qualities are infused in the classroom environment.
Students are encouraged to solve their own problems with guidance from adults. This includes regular community meetings that are lead by students. At these meetings students can bring up topics and problems and discuss ways together on how to solve them.
Our two boys have thrived here. They are learning and practicing executive decision making every day in this environment where they are in charge of motivating and challenging themselves (although contrary to some beliefs Montessori does hold them accountable). They have a hunger to learn and a zest for knowledge that is feed in this school. It is also a warm and caring environment where the students are surrounded by nurturing adults.
I think this is the best school. Everyone one there is very friendly and caring. All the teachers and adults know all the kids. They teach my children amazing things. I can't believe all the great knowledge they are gaining everyday. I can't say enough positive things about this school. I wish I could go to school here.
My daughter has been in the Montessori environment from 15 months on. The independent thinking, fostering of individual responsibility and creativity is blossoming daily. I love the environment she is learning in and the fact that my kid loves to go to school.