Montessori Basics

Montessori Classroom “Walkabout”

Montessori Preschool Classroom vs. Traditional Preschool Classroom


By Kathy Sage

Join me for a Montessori classroom “walkabout”.  Are you ready?

In a genuine Montessori classroom, no matter what the day or time, you will see that no one is doing the exact same activity because everyone is following his or her own passion.

In a genuine Montessori classroom you will notice that a teacher is not standing in front of the class explaining the daily activities to a large group.  Instead, a Montessori teacher (called directress or guide) is providing one-on-one presentations to specifically meet the individual abilities and learning style of each student.  This way, each child can learn at their own pace in a way that suits them best.

Inspiring children to actively explore the environment, becoming their own teachers, is our main task.  For example, children engage in a plethora of art activities like painting, drawing, cutting, sewing. They are never instructed what to illustrate, or put to paper.  Whatever they decide to create, comes from within. No one knows better than him/her, in his/her own imagination, which creative path they should follow. The Montessori teachers job is to observe and follow each child’s individual passion.

Above, you are witnessing two students who spontaneously decided to work together on a mutually decided upon, geography activity.  In a genuine Montessori school, children are not encouraged to compete with each other, they only compete with themselves. They support one another, to help one another learn without judgement or snickering if someone makes a mistake.  The children innately understand that mistakes are part of the process.

In a genuine Montessori classroom, there are no hierarchies. Classrooms are mixed age, so there is plenty of opportunity to learn from each other.  Children do not need to raise their hands and wait to be called upon. They are not confined to a desk, table, or chair and they are always free to work in any part of the classroom that they please.  

Why are all children so successful at a Montessori school?  Why does this non-traditional method of learning work? Because Montessori students are doing exactly what they need to be doing, exactly when they need to be doing it.  We chose our school logo of a flowering daffodil bulb, because like a daffodil bulb, each child is born with everything inside they need grow and thrive in a properly prepared environment.  

Now is it time for you or you and your child’s first “walkabout” the Casa Montessori classroom.  I encourage you to schedule a tour of Casa for you and your child here before enrolling. At your scheduled date and time, come and follow your own or your child’s passion.  Explore any part of the classroom you like. Like the children who currently attend Casa, please encourage your child to treat the children’s materials with respect. carefully take it from the shelf to a table or rug, treat the material gently, then restore the material and place it back on the shelf from which it was taken.  I will be there to answer any questions you may have. See you soon!