A Public School Transitions to Montessori
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A Public School Transitions to Montessori

>>Beth: Latta is a very small town. We have two stop lights. It is more family-oriented. Everybody knows everybody. But as far as anything big,
there’s nothing here in Latta.>>John: The biggest asset we have
is not the church on Main Street, it’s not the small little
industry on the outskirts of town. The biggest asset we got in this
community is the school system. We are in a poor, rural district, but
the parents and the community expects us to do the very best we can.>>John: We were basically
a pretty traditional school district in teaching methods and instruction. What I felt like we were missing was
“Is this really what our students need?” We didn’t know how to reach
every child in the classroom. So, I challenged the administration,
“Come up with a program that’s going to raise the rigor, that’s
going to be fair and equitable, so every student in that
class is learning.>Student: “You’re a frog,” she said. “You wouldn’t understand.”>>Dollie: We chose Montessori
because we were looking for a program that had consistency with reading
instruction as well as math, but social-emotional is a
huge part of Montessori. We’re actually providing for the whole
child and not just reading and math, science and social studies.>>Amanda: We’re not just teaching them
standards and content, but we’re trying to teach them how to be a person. They’re learning how to respect others. They’re learning to take
care of themselves and their environment,
not just two plus two.>>Dollie: The transition was difficult. I’ll be very honest with you.>>Dana: And this time,
instead of me mostly doing it, you’re going to do the tens, Maddie.>>Dollie: I’ve got some
teachers that have been in traditional for thirty years. So, it was very difficult for them to
move over to a completely different way of presenting lessons and
setting up your classroom.>>Beth: I’ve been teaching
for seventeen years. This is my first year
teaching Montessori. The training process lasted
probably about two years. Traditional was a little bit different, because I had the whole
class the same age. However, now I have all of
the first year, second year, and third graders in one class.>>Beth: All right.
Let’s do that.>>Beth: The older kids can really serve as those role models
for the younger ones.>>Student: That one turned it down.>>Beth: They’re like little
mamas and little daddies, because they watch out for them. If they’re not doing something,
I have some that’ll, you know, touch the little first grader and
say, “You need to get back to work.”>>Bella: We have been
working on our work plans.>>Beth: Work plans, to me,
is the toughest part of it. I still teach pretty much the
same thing to all the students, but they’re at a different pace.>>Amanda: This is the last ant. Can you spell “last” for me?>>Amanda: In my opinion, Montessori
is just a different way of learning. It’s more about the individual child
learning what they need to learn. Some children will work together. Some like to work individually. When they need help in any
way, they’ll let us know and we sit down and help them.>>Beth: The traditional classroom versus the Montessori
classroom is totally different. In the Montessori classroom,
students have rugs that they work on. They have their lesson on that rug. As they get finished with a lesson, they
can get up, they can move, they can go.>>Amanda: And in division
we always start with our thousand.>>Amanda: It’s really more of a
follow-the-child path that we take.>>Amanda: The hardest part about
Montessori education is making sure all of the standards are
mastered for all grade levels. We have to teach the same content
as any other public school, I just think that we go
further than the standards. the goal of Montessori is
just teaching the whole child.>>Dollie: Montessori is one of those
situations where you almost have to live it before you understand it. To believe in the program
you have to be a part of it.>>Dollie: As we shifted from
traditional to Montessori, I think the biggest impact is that our children have
become independent thinkers and very good problem-solvers.>>Amanda: We truly get
to know the child. I watch kids grow from barely
being able to read CBC words, to where they’re reading novels.>>Amanda: Just seeing the full circle
just come together is really amazing.>>John: Montessori is very much in tune
to what’s going on in today’s world now: cooperative learning,
helping your peers, learning at your own
speed, being challenged. We’re creating kids that want to learn, but Montessori in itself,
to me, is not the answer. It’s taking advantage of that
enthusiasm, that thirst for learning, in a great philosophical environment
that lets the child thrive.

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22 thoughts on “A Public School Transitions to Montessori

  1. Thing is that most Montessori cost a small fortune . Even if you get funding it’s still doesn’t cover all the costs . Not sure it will work for all kinds of learners but that goes for any education system .

  2. More districts would do this if it wasn't for fear of failing state exams, so they continue to teach to the test.

  3. I'm curious about the teacher:student ratio in theses SC classes – it looked quite good. It surprised me that there are so many public Montessori schools in SC!

  4. This seems really similar to the new open-plan-learning schools in New Zealand.
    The problem is these schools definitely don’t work for all students.

  5. Wow. A public Montessori school!?
    I wish California would start transitioning! You guys are a model school! Really happy to see this 🤗

  6. Wow, more people should see this. I grew up in a Montessori school and it's probably the best thing to happen to me. If only traditional schools where more personalized and social.

  7. I’m crying happy tears!! As an educator, I’m happy to see a district change their education program for the good of the children. Also, getting parents involved. I like how the teachers were honest about how it was hard to change but they did!!!

  8. I wish they did this in my town. I hate that the only Montessori schools in our area are so expensive. Maria Montessori originally created this type of learning for poor kids. It’s a shame that more school districts dnt have this program.

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