What is a Montessori Classroom?

Our School made the decision many years ago to establish a true Montessori Program for families who desired their preschool child to be immersed in the Montessori principles and philosophies before their formal school years began. Our staff purposely designs the classroom to reflect the Montessori teachings, and use the practices and teaching methods, called the Montessori Method, made famous by Maria Montessori many years ago. 

The Montessori Method is based on observation.  It is the result of an experiment that Maria Montessori made in Rome in 1906. She concluded that “...if the conditions are right....children have a natural desire to learn and work”. 

360 panorama of St. James Montessori - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Our Goals and Objectives for our Montessori Program are: 

  • To implement the Montessori philosophy in a Prepared Environment through the use of the Montessori equipment and the Montessori approach to learning. 
  • To provide an environment suited to children’s needs in which each child has the opportunity to progress at his/her own level of development. 
  • To maintain a happy, pleasant atmosphere in which the child can absorb information and find joy in learning. 
  • To offer opportunities for socialization within the framework of respect for others, and cooperation. 
  • To help each child develop self-confidence and an awareness of his/her own individual capabilities. 
  • To encourage independence by emphasizing self-motivated learning and choice making. 

Our Classroom Philosophy:

In a Montessori School, the child is given a room where everything is in the right size for him/her and everything is useful and interesting. We aim to construct an environment which offers the right conditions for children based on Dr. Montessori’s findings. The activities available for the children will help foster their natural development through improving self-confidence, strengthening coordination, fostering independence and lengthening their span of concentration while learning various concepts and skills. 

A Montessori Classroom invites the child to learn by doing – to use his/her hands. Dr. Montessori found that children “absorb” information from their environment as they interact with it. The role of the Teacher is to demonstrate the correct use of materials, observe the children, identify readiness for more challenging work, record each child’s progress, and plan and conduct group activities and special projects. 

Children learn and develop at their own pace; each child is unique. We never force a child into any activity for which they are not ready for, and through careful observation we know the optimal times to present a child with a new concept to master. When a child is ready to learn a new skill, they are eager and happy with the challenge it presents, as compared to a child who is not ready, which can cause feelings of frustration and detrimentally affect self-esteem. The educators roles are to know each child, and guide them through their journey of learning, in a safe and warm environment where they child can be comfortable.