As a parent, you have big goals for your child. You do not want them to simply get by in the classroom; you want them to thrive. Each child is unique, and it is more difficult for some to thrive in a traditional classroom setting. Fortunately, you have options other than the traditional classroom setting for your child. The design of the Montessori classroom is different than what you will find in a typical public school. It allows for a wide variety of students to thrive. The elements of a Montessori classroom that help a wide range of students thrive include small class sizes, individualized instruction, and a wide range of enrichment opportunities.
Small class sizes
Getting lost in a sea of students is not the ideal way for any child to learn. Even the most academically gifted children need to have interaction with their teacher. In large classrooms, controlling noise levels and behavior can severely cut into instruction time. The students who get teacher attention are often the ones who are causing problems. This can leave many students without the instruction and attention they need to truly thrive. Because of this, most Montessori programs intentionally keep class sizes small. A small student to teacher ratio allows for more interaction between each student and the teacher.
Smaller class sizes also create room for individualized instruction. In the Montessori Philosophy of education, children are regarded as naturally curious. The overarching belief is that all children will willingly engage in learning when provided with the right opportunities. Teachers in the Montessori classroom look for those opportunities with each student. They develop individualized learning plans based on the interests and needs of each student. This type of individualized instruction ensures that the individual student gets what he or she needs in order to thrive in the classroom and succeed beyond.
Wide range of enrichment opportunities
A quality education always includes opportunities outside of the ‘normal’ instruction. These additional opportunities allow students to thrive by exploring new interests and developing passions. Examples of enrichment opportunities you may find in a Montessori program include foreign language immersion, musical training, and technology courses. The enrichment opportunities that are available will vary by program, so be sure to get specific information from each Montessori school you consider.
Can your child thrive in a classroom setting that has a small student to teacher ratio, provides individualized instruction, and offers a wide range of enrichment opportunities? For the vast majority of students, the answer is yes. The design of the Montessori classroom and curriculum truly provides the greatest opportunity for success to each student. You can learn more about the environment of the Montessori classroom by scheduling a time to observe a class.