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<p>Yes, another vent.  Because people here understand.  Just another thread to highlight that a school can call themselves Montessori, and even have Montessori-certified teachers, and just <em>not</em> be Montessori.  So let my experience be the warning, and everyone else check the facts even more closely (although I thought I did a good job!).</p>
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<p>I ran into a woman shopping who I overheard say she used to teach in the Montessori program at my son's current school.  I told her ds was in 1st grade there now, and she gushed about <em>what</em> an amazing program it is.  I smiled and said that it is certainly a better fit than a traditional classroom for my son.  I did inquire, though, whether the district put forth guidelines of standards for the Montessori classrooms, because ds's teacher describes her class as a "mix" of M and traditional.  She looked at me funny and said no.</p>
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<p>She went on to say that she has never seen a private Montessori classroom.  She did all of her student teaching in the public school.  WHAT?!  Then she said that she would love her children to be in Montessori, but that her 6 year old needs structure and would not do well in an M environment.  Granted, maybe not at that school...but shouldn't an M certified teacher have a better understanding of what M does and does not provide.  I was just really saddened by this conversation.  I wanted to ask more questions, but I was so flabbergasted that I just shut up before I really offended her.</p>
 

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<p>That would break my heart.  Rose, where is your school? You can PM me if you'd like.  Our school is a public Montessori and one of my kids teachers just returned from a 2 week observation of another school/classroom, which is part of the training for a Montessori teacher.  Does your school have a governing board?  Can you take your concerns there? </p>
 

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<p>There's a school board for the district.  The school has no governing board, aside from the principal/vice principal, but the principal is an idiot and I'm now dealing with bigger issues than the authenticity of their Montessori program.  I think the school board likes the program because it gives the district prestige, but I don't think they have any interest in how authentic a program (or how well-trained their teachers are for Montessori) because they fear venturing too far outside of the traditional box. </p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rose-Roget</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285652/she-d-never-seen-a-real-montessori#post_16118222"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p>She went on to say that she has never seen a private Montessori classroom.  She did all of her student teaching in the public school.  WHAT?! </p>
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<br><br><p>i wouldn't immediately assume that private=real and public="fake".</p>
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<p>But, I do get your concern. Unfortunately, I am not surprised. I am still pretty angry over the chain of events that led us to pull our son out of Montessori and place him into a more traditional program, but I continue to have respect for Maria Montessori's research and goals and ideals. The private programs we were part of seem to have missed the boat in different ways than the way the public one you are in has missed it. I seem to remember that you had disappointment and frustration with the private children's house program your son was in too.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>spedteacher30</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285652/she-d-never-seen-a-real-montessori#post_16125119"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
i wouldn't immediately assume that private=real and public="fake".</p>
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<p> Oh, that's very true.  But we're in the public program that this student teacher did all of her training in, and it's not "real."  You would think that there would be a requirement to observe and student teach in a couple of different settings.  That way, the teachers could come out with a more well-rounded sense of what Montessori is.</p>
 

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<p>I am not sure private=real montessori or a *better* montessori. What I have seen/experienced with the kids in our private  M has led me to realise all schooling choices are imperfect.Yes,some are better than others.All depends on the teachers,staff,students.Our M is still better than public in some respects,but similar or failing in other areas. Some years are better than others.The teachers will do things their way,or whatever way they are told too.</p>
 

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<p>Such a bummer really!</p>
<p>Are any of the classes more "montessori" at Montclair? When I say more, I mean more like MCR??</p>
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<p>Have you looked into Norris for next year maybe?</p>
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<p>I cannot imagine sending my kids elsewhere, but financially I want to at least keep an open mind. Hearing all the things you have stated about the public montessori makes me worry even more though. So horrible that they make parents think they are "montessori" and you switch your child and end up in a classroom that falls short!</p>
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<p>By the way what kind of Montessori teacher has never seen a real Montessori! Ridiculous!</p>
 

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<p>Our local school board has a Montessori program, but in every case where the Montessori method conflicts with the provincial public school guidelines, Montessori loses.  For instance:</p>
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<p>a) the classes are sometimes mixed ages, but not according to the Montessori 3-year cycles, and there are never more than two grades in a classroom. The Montessori principle of mastery leading to confidence and mentorship loses out.</p>
<p>b) the students are required to keep up with the curriculum as set out, and the timing set out for it. A student who wishes to delay a topic until later in the 3-year cycle, or work hard on one area until s/he is satisfied with it, loses out.</p>
<p>c) tests are administered, grades are assessed, according to provincial standards. Our private Montessori does no testing or grades-based assessment.</p>
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<p>While there are certainly private Montessori classrooms that don't look "real" (we took DD out of one), the public classroom, in our district at least, is not legally allowed to be a "real" Montessori.</p>
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<p>All of this is neither here nor there, as was said upthread, there is no perfect educational situation. Just my two cents on public vs. private.</p>
 

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<p>We are in a public Montessori, and from what I've seen, the public program is better than most of the private programs around.  They do a LOT of work, though, to stay as true as they can to the ideals, and are fortunate that the principal works with them on issues like scheduling lunches etc. to make it work.  We don't get grades, just a child/parent/teacher conference.  The kids here do have to meet the state curriculums, but they work out how to do it themselves for the most part.  We do have 3 year classes, 1st thru 3rd and 4th thru 6th.  They do get the required tests for the gifted program and state required tests, but that's it.  </p>
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<p>We're really happy, but from what I've seen and heard, we have a really great public program.  </p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>bigteamug</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285652/she-d-never-seen-a-real-montessori#post_16172627"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We are in a public Montessori, and from what I've seen, the public program is better than most of the private programs around.  They do a LOT of work, though, to stay as true as they can to the ideals, and are fortunate that the principal works with them on issues like scheduling lunches etc. to make it work.  We don't get grades, just a child/parent/teacher conference.  The kids here do have to meet the state curriculums, but they work out how to do it themselves for the most part.  We do have 3 year classes, 1st thru 3rd and 4th thru 6th.  They do get the required tests for the gifted program and state required tests, but that's it.  </p>
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<p>We're really happy, but from what I've seen and heard, we have a really great public program.  </p>
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Sounds like you do have a great program!  Too bad districts can't look at other, more authentic, programs to see how they make it work.<br>
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<p>My biggest complaints with our program are not having enough space in the classrooms (since they are in a regular classroom, which doesn't need as much space) and the lack of going-out, because it is limited by safety rules. They do go on regular field-trips (theatre, garden, etc), but the practicality of hey, let's go explore "X" outside is very difficult to work with in a setting where they have to worry about liability.  I think that most any Montessori program will be having that issue nowadays, though, unless they have a large accessible fenced-in area.  I think that issue is also more of a societal shift, to - it's less common to let your kids have the whole neighborhood to roam than it was when we grew up. </p>
 
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