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This is my dd's second year in a Montessori program. She just turned six and will be visiting the elementary class soon with the idea of her transitioning to that class by the end of this school year.<br><br>
However, I have many questions about Montessori now, specifically the elementary...and because I have worked -- as an emergency licensed special ed teacher -- since October, I do not feel confortable asking certain things. I feel like I'm being critical and I cannot voice my concerns -- is that a red-flag? I think its just me.<br><br>
Anyway, there are two elementary classrooms at this school. One of the teachers I adore -- philisophically she is wonderful. But the class is generally in a disarray. There are a few children in the class with severe behavior problems...it doesn't appear that a whole lot of learning is going on here.<br><br>
The other class has a teacher who looks a bit like Nurse Crachit from One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest. Her class is beautiful and peaceful and everyone SEEMS on task...but I just find myself questioning the whole Montessri method. What are they supposed to be doing at this level? What I see these students doing is not what I see kids at traditional schools doing...<br><br>
Overall, the writing is terrible and I do not see a lot of follow-through with assignments. Like if a kid wants to research dinosaurs, fine. But they never conclude anything. It's like they copy something from a book and the next day when you ask them about it, they're like, oh I don't know where I put it.<br><br>
I'm rambling. But if anyone has any thoughts...I've come close to many families in the school and it is a friendly cozy place...a public school charter, but historically true Montessori...but I am fast losing faith.
 

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Hi Whisper!<br><br>
Maybe it would help to visit other Montessori elementary programs in the area to compare your observations to. It can help to get an objective perspective.<br><br>
Do you know what has your dd been recently working on or with what materials has she had new presentations?
 

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A Montessori classroom shouldn't "look" like a traditional class... and I think that's a good thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> But, there should be a lot of learning going on. I would recommend reading Montessori Today by Paula Polk Lillard. That book describes what a Montessori elementary class should look like, and describes the learning/developmental goals for that age. Then, you could compare what an elementary classroom should look like to what is going on at your school.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wrote my thread a while ago and have not had a chance to get back to it! Let me just say that I am feeling much better about my dd's school AND teacher choice.<br><br>
I will have to go with the teacher that I said was too stern and a bit overboard. While my concerns were valid, I have come to a new understanding of her and her teaching style. While there is no excuse for "shaming" a child, from talking to her and to others about her, I found many more reasons to respect her than not. She is open to parents -- if she seems a little intimidating intially. She comes from a hard background and has had to soften her style even though she belieives to her core that being a little hard on her students benefits them in the long run.<br><br>
The children excel in her room for a reason.<br><br>
And I also realize no school -- or teacher -- is perfect. But I love our little school with all of its struggles and growing pains.<br><br>
I am going to search for that book, however. I want to learn as much as I can about Montessori! Thank you!
 
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