The Montessori method is popular!
It is widely acknowledged as one of the most progressive paradigms of education for children. But not everything about the amazing practices and strategies propounded by Maria Montessori makes it out to the public. Let’s just say the image of ‘Montessori Education’ scratches only the tip of the iceberg.
This is the reason why ILM organises parent orientations to help guardians and caregivers understand exactly what their little ones learn, imbibe and inculcate at school and how the apparently simple principles taught can have a major impact on accountability and performance later down the line.
This time around the Orientation happened for the parents of all new and returning pre-primary students. On a sunny Sunday morning, the session kicked off with a brief discussion about the goals and the vision of ILM by our esteemed trustee Navaid. This gradually evolved into an interesting conversation that even touched on the parallels between Khan’s Academy and the Montessori method. If you are interested in learning more about the astonishing similarities between the two, you can read this post.
Next Came “Meet The Teacher” Introductions:
A school is never a solitary endeavour. And teachers are inextricably intertwined with everything the students attempt while at their place of education. The Montessori method gives special emphasis to instructors and how the children relate to them. Thus a round of instructions was due!
Sunitha, an MCA and IIMS certification holder in the Montessori methodology shared the unique story of her involvement with ILM. She was intrigued by the principles her son was picking up at school because to her they eliminated all the ‘drawbacks’ of conventional learning. She has poured her energy and boundless enthusiasm into helping us improve our holistic approach to education and is committed to doing so for the foreseeable future.
Sujatha, ILM’s primary facilitator came to us in the last academic session and her appointment has definitely been a coup. She is a veteran with ten solid years in the Montessori environment and her stints with the prestigious Golden Beads Montessori and Head Start Montessori make her the right person to create a well prepared Montessori setting for her charges.
Sneha may be a new addition to the ILM team but she is an experienced Montessorian with six years at Head Start Montessori in her kitty and the invaluable insights from her time as the facilitator of children’s culture study in Seoul.
Arpita, our innovative and bubbly pre-primary teacher was deeply missed. But we are happy to report that she has broadened her horizons by starting her own Montessori school. ILM wishes her luck and success.
Diving Into Rules, Classrooms & Vocabulary:
Post the introductions the parents were given the opportunity to explore the day to day activities that are a crucial part of how the Montessori environment operates. They were introduced to a few best practices pertaining to the student’s dress code, punctuality, extra curricular participation and more so that they can smoothen the transition from the familiar cosiness of home to the more independent and stimulating Montessori ambience.
Next on the agenda was a tour of the classrooms. The ILM team collectively walked guardians through them, drawing their attention to the layout, the myriad colours and textures that are meant to improve intake of sensorial inputs, the key materials that students engage with to improve various areas of their competence and most importantly the crucial distinctions that characterise the Montessori vocabulary. Parents were requested to use the term ‘work’ instead of ‘play’ and ‘material’ to replace ‘toys’. This is an attempt to ensure that they can bring home the Montessori environment and continue to reinforce it for their wards.
Supplementary tips to support the learning experiences introduced in the ILM program were also shared. Caregivers were gently reminded to refrain from contradictory practices like teaching their little ones English alphabets while the Montessori methodology likes to progress with phonetic sounds instead.
At the end of the day there were questions volleyed at the ILM team which they handled with pro grace. Parents left satisfied that the welfare and the physical-moral-intellectual development of their children were in seasoned hands. Hands that have sent many a little feet on their way to success.
Here are a few images to revive the memories.