FAQ

Well this is a very good question indeed! Certainly many other places, in particular, day care centers, allow and even encourage parents to walk and sometimes even enter the child’s classroom. So why not the Montessori Institute of Broward?

There are many reasons we don’t allow you to walk your child to class. Here they are, and since all reasons are important, they are in no particular order.

CAMPUS SAFETY

It is imperative for us to know at all times who is on campus, and the surest way to do that is to limit campus access to MIB staff and students. If one person passes, then any number of people can pass, making keeping track of just who is coming and going a difficult task. (We do allow parents on campus for birthdays and for some volunteer work, and give prospective parents tours of the school, but these visits are strictly monitored and guests are accompanied by staff members.)

STUDENT SAFETY

Imagine that you walk your child to class, stand at the door to say “just a word” to the teacher or speak to her for “just a few moments.” While the teacher or assistant is engaged in her conversation with you, she is no longer attending to her primary task: the safety and education of the children. Multiply that one short visit by the number of children in the classroom whose parents wish to also walk to class and….well, you get the picture. At best, students are not being presented lessons when they should be. At worst, a child could have an incident or accident due to a lapse in supervision.

PREVENTING INTERRUPTION OF THE WORK CYCLE

One of the objectives of the Montessori environment is to obtain, maintain and strengthen periods of focus and concentration in the child. This is the strong foundation on which is built the ability to work with increasingly complex materials. When a parent comes to the classroom, even if only to the door, it causes a disturbance to the children who are already working. At a traditional day care, where the children are perhaps casually playing with toys, this isn’t an issue. But in our environment, where children are working with the Montessori materials, having parents coming to the door many times during the morning would disturb that process. (This is also the reason we are such sticklers about being on time; perhaps further addressed in a future FAQ.)

PHILOSOPHICAL

The Montessori environment is for the child. In fact, the original name given to the environment by Dr. Maria Montessori is Casa Dei Bambini, or Children’s House. Furthermore, the child uses the independent act of walking to class by him/herself, or perhaps with friends or a sibling, to mark the transition to his environment, his community, to his place of learning. And it marks a transition for parents as well, to letting the child go so she may begin creating the person she will become in your absence. This letting go is often harder for us as parents than it is for the children. In truth, it is a lesson for us as well, the fruits of which will benefit us in the years to come.

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Unlike some private schools, which strive for very small classes, Montessori values the lessons of community when the size of the class is somewhat larger.

Montessori classes for children above the infant & toddler level might include 20–30 students whose ages span 3 years. All members of the community benefit from this set-up. Older students are proud to act as role models; younger ones feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Classes for infants & toddlers are smaller, with typically 10–15 children.

Source: American Montessori Society – http://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/FAQs

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There is a small but growing body of well-designed research comparing Montessori students to those in traditional schools. These suggest that in academic subjects, Montessori students perform as well as or better than their non-Montessori peers.

In one study, for example, children who had attended Montessori schools at the preschool and elementary levels earned higher scores in high school on standardized math and science tests. Another study found that the essays of 12-year-old Montessori students were more creative and used more complex sentence structures than those produced by the non-Montessori group.

The research also shows Montessori students to have greater social and behavioral skills. They demonstrate a greater sense of fairness and justice, for example, and are more likely to choose positive responses for dealing with social dilemmas.

By less stringent measures, too, Montessori students seem to do quite well. Most Montessori schools report that their students are typically accepted into the high schools and colleges of their choice. And many successful grads cite their years at Montessori when reflecting on important influences in their life.

Source: American Montessori Society – http://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/FAQs

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