It is inevitable that most parents have myriad queries about their child’s school in general. In our case, the Montessori method in particular. They are desirous of peeking behind the scenes to understand the ground rules of the strange alchemy that transforms their little ones into competent capable adults.
This weekend we had a lovely interactive ‘orientation’ session to satisfy the curiosity of those who have trusted us with their tiny treasures and it was a very rewarding experience indeed.
Acquainting with the vision behind ILM Montessori:
We started the orientation session with Trustee Arif Vakil who shared the vision behind ILM Montessori. Arif spoke from the heart and expressed the desire to see ILM as the foundation that can build the core values of integrity, responsibility, honesty and inquisitiveness in the students so that they:
– Realize that their education has a loftier role to play. It isn’t just a means of snagging a top paying job or starting a thriving international business – worthy goals though they are. Students must understand that the true importance and value of education lies in being the best version of themselves possible so that they can bring the force of positivity to society and share their contributions on a grand scale to impact more than just their near and dear ones.
– Have a robust decision making process in place that allows them to separate wrong from right, needed from wanted and pressing from popular so that they can unerringly choose the path that takes them to a life of virtue and confidence.
– Can live according to their higher purpose and not bow down to peer pressure or the beckoning of fads.
For our readers who missed the launch of ILM, the stirring speech by Trustee Dr. Mateen and his vision for the school is articulated here.
How Montessori Works:
Next, our Principal Rekha and Teachers Arpita and Sunitha shared the five main Areas of Montessori Teaching and how they come together in a convenient hierarchy that exposes them to new learnings and feelings.
Exercises of Practical Life:
We briefed parents on what this particular area entailed since it is one of the mainstays of the Montessori paradigm.
Normally, on the ladder of Montessori Evolution, young children are first introduced to the Exercises of Practical Life (EPL) section. That’s because EPL works with familiar objects they encounter in everyday life to accomplish tasks such as cleaning, sweeping, pouring, dressing, and plant care. These exercises fall into four major categories: Care of the Self, Care of the Environment, Grace and Courtesy, and Control of Movement. The activities help children develop coordination, concentration, a sense of personal independence and order. They gain the confidence and attention needed to master the more advanced rungs of the Montessori experience.
We were gratified when a parent corroborated our presentation and admitted that after becoming a part of ILM Montessori their son had improved by leaps and bounds where taking care of himself and his belongings was concerned.
Maria Montessori believed that everything we inculcate we acquire through our senses. And thus the orientation session also focused on the sensory cultivation exercises ILM offers students.
Parents were briefed about the Sensorial activities, the materials used to facilitate them and a complete demonstration of how little ones feel the shape, texture and vibes of objects to identify with them and progress on to the Arithmetic and Language rungs.
At ILM Maths becomes fun! A child is first introduced to the symbols e.g. ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), then to the quantity and lastly the association between them. Each arithmetic operation is depicted with different materials. Therefore the implications of addition, subtraction and multiplication are given tangible form so that the recipient of the knowledge forever remembers the basics.
This section came next and parents were shown how language is introduced the phonetic way, the importance of this process and its specifics.
One of the attendees shared that a 7 year child who goes to a Montessori institute can read very differently from a 12 year old kid studying in a conventional school. These tid-bits made our day and they have served to motivate and fire us up!
Parents were given a snapshot of how their kids are offered a global perspective through Montessori education and are gradually introduced to concepts like continents and anatomical classification – as in parts of a frog, a tree or indeed a human being.
Rules, Do’s and Don’ts:
We ended the interactions by going over the rules & regulations of the school covering timings, snacks, clothes appointments with teachers and everything else needed to help both parents and students make the most of the ILM Montessori experience without hassles and uncertainties.
All in all the orientation, cemented the bond between us, our charges as well as their families! We leave you with cherished memories…….
A befitting orientation to all us parents it was..!
An hour well spent at the deck of ILM on a Saturday afternoon…:-)
Really applaud the trustee / management and teachers efforts to bring in this age old method to hone our wards…
Very well summed up by the Author indeed…!
Looking forward to more such interactions to apprise on the method and how it can be imbibed and complemented by parents back home.
P.S.: Looks like a typo under the title “How Montessori works” – the teacher’s name should be “Sunitha” and not “Shwetha”. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Thanks for the wonderful and enlightening noon…:-)
Thank you so much for your kind words Dilip! And yes, corrected the typo too : )