A dear friend is adjusting to her family’s exiting of the Montessori environment. Due to economic reasons, she has placed her son for his kindergarden year at the local public school. He is in a class with the county’s teacher of the year last year. She and her assistant are long-time partners and seasoned public school teachers. The school building is only two years old – all the class rooms have “smart boards” and the music, PE, recess facilities are excellent. Yet this morning she cried. How could a parent be less than ecstatic?
It’s not Montessori.
The young man’s work is not valued past the time that is given to work on that topic. The elaborate reward system that involves candy, ice cream, stickers, and toys dismays my friend. The use of crayons for everything leads to less than what she has come to expect in the way of precision and beauty. The children are entertained to teach – all the shapes had names and characteristics in the puppet show so the children would want to learn their names.
I grieved with my friend. She doesn’t want to be a helicopter parent. Yet she feels compelled to watch over her son to see that the years of Montessori values aren’t sucked out of him. I grieve, too.