Originally Posted by nessalq
My son just started today at his first Montessori school and I didn't feel too good about it. They are accredited. But, they have 17 kids in the 15 month-3 year old program. They have four staff for the kids. Since today was the first day for a lot of the children, there were a lot of crying, clinging children at drop off and pick up. My son was the only one who did not cry, they said. That's good, but how much attention can he be getting? I saw staff carrying these crying children. It seemed chaotic to me, but it was also because all the parents drop off and pick up at the same time, and I know that can be chaotic. I visited mid-day and things seemed much calmer and my son was happy and playing outside. When I picked him up, though, he seemed bored and ready to go. Should I give this school a chance because almost all kids are brand new except three or four of them and some of the staff is also brand new today, or should I run away??
Uh, wait a minute - do they have a real teacher in the classroom? Like, someone with a certificate? How many of the staff have been there for a while, how many are new? Is the school certified by anyone? I assume it's more of a daycare-type situation, as usually schools start at 2.9 mos, and not before. And the 2.9 year olds are in a classroom up to age 6.
In a well-functioning Montessori classroom - and I'm not sure whose idea it was to have a bunch of new children start all at once - there can be very few teachers to children, and there is lots of attention for everyone. But that's usually an established classroom.
Good signs - the teachers/assistants (?) are carrying around the children who are crying, helping them feel better. That's good. Four teachers for 17 children is a pretty high ratio, from what I've seen. And the fact that it was calm midday is good; and that your son was ready to go is pretty normal. It's not like after spending 6+ hours there he should be saying I wanna stay! Long hours at school can be challenging for little ones.