The teachers in a Montessori classroom carefully prepare the activities using materials that keep the developmental needs of the children in mind. A Montessori classroom is not the domain of the adults in charge. The environment belongs to our children and they are responsible for it.
Susan Hunter has been educating children for 33 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Kindergarten/Primary education, MA in Reading Education from LA Tech University, Ruston LA and a Montessori Methods teaching certificate from St. Nicholas Center, London. Ms. Susan taught 11 years in the public school system of Webster Parish and has been the director/owner of Minden Montessori School for the past 25 years.
We have four Montessori trained teaching assistants. Each assistant teacher has had extensive classroom training in integrated education practices as well as the developmental/social needs of young children.
Minden Montessori prides itself on a well- trained, loving staff. Each member of our staff strives to enrich your child’s daily physical, emotional and academic experiences with the love and attention young children require to become successful.
In Dr. Montessori’s approach to education, she felt that, given the proper environment, children would work diligently at mastering the skills that would prepare them for their adult life. She also felt that the goals of parents and educators were the same, to prepare a child for adult life.
The Montessori environment is designed to facilitate the child’s development of independence, self-confidence, concentration, co-ordination, and social and academic skills. The child is given the opportunity to select “work” in any of the age-appropriate areas of the classroom and repeat these activities until the child feels mastery.
Their class is their community and each of them is an important member. The child is able to progress at exactly the pace that suits their individual abilities. They are provided with role models and are expected to become role models. The classroom is arranged into several areas: practical, life, sensorial, math, language/writing, geography and science.
- Practical Life – In the Practical Life area, the child may choose from many activities that are designed to teach everyday living skills such as: sweeping, scrubbing, tweezing, spooning, coloring, stacking, dressing, putting on garments, pouring and sewing. The child learns how to complete the “work cycle”: taking the work off the shelf, completing it, and returning it to the shelf in good condition for the next child to choose. The work habits developed in the Practical Life area carry over into other areas of the classroom and home. The ability to “do it by themselves” gives the child a feeling of confidence and control.
- Sensorial – This area of the classroom allows the child to explore his or her world using one or more of his or her senses. Shapes, sizes, textures, sounds, and smells are all part of this engaging area of the classroom. By refining his or her sense of perceptions, the child gains skills that will enable her to better analyze the world.
- Math – In the math area the child learns the concept of one-on-one correspondence, sequence, order and similarities. The materials in this area give the child the chance to gain an understanding of the base ten number system, linear counting and further activities such as addition and subtraction. Mathematic activities enable children to manipulate quantities and to understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; they help provide a concrete basic understanding of these concepts that will remain with them. Children begin with basic counting and shapes and progress through a variety of lessons until they reach the point of basic addition.
- Language – Language occurs in all parts of the classroom: During circle time, the children learn to speak in turns and express ideas, listen to stories, etc. On an individual basis, students learn the sound of the letters as well as how those sounds blend into words. Students are also introduced to letters/sounds through “Letter People,” a reading program Minden Montessori School implemented in 2003 school year with great success.
- Geography/Science – Minden Montessori incorporates geography and science into circle lesson, stories, and field trips in addition to the geography/science lessons placed in the classroom.
The basic concept of our Montessori Classroom is to take your child at the developmental stage he or she is, upon entering our school, and expand his or her developmental stage to its fullest potential. Our faculty encourages the child to reach beyond the basic pre-school program. The skills and habits of work, observation, concentration, and self-education that our children attain in the primary class can last them a lifetime. With love, encouragement, and understanding, they are on their way to becoming happy and productive members of our society.