Hudson Montessori School Hosts First Parent Education Night of the School Year
Updated: Sep 17, 2021
Parents from nearly 60 households logged on to participate in the first virtual parent education night of the 2021-2022 school year. Most were new families who heard the school’s Montessori-trained staff members talk about the intricacies of the Montessori method of learning.
Susan Wallen, education director and lower elementary teacher, kicked off the night with the story of Maria Montessori’s inspiring life and the history of her global educational influence. Dr. Montessori believed that children needed certain things to effectively learn: order, orientation, exploration, communication, activity, manipulation, work, repetition, exactness, abstraction, and self perfection. Ms. Susan explained these requirements, or “human tendencies,” and how they make up the core of Montessori philosophy.
Yuliya Chernikova, primary teacher, shared a personal story of her first observation of the Montessori philosophy in practice and how it altered the trajectory of her life. Her first experience with Montessori happened during her first year of teaching in Poland where she volunteered at a local Montessori school. Her first day in the classroom, seated in a chair in the corner of the room, she watched the students with awe at the natural order in the classroom environment.
“I thought every school in the world had to implement this method!” Ms Yuliya said. “I saw children working joyfully, moving freely, and choosing their activities.” Seeing students focused, comfortable in their space, and engrossed in their work ignited a new dream in Ms. Yuliya. She wanted her future students to feel pride and responsibility in their work and live in her classroom harmoniously and happily. “There was no looking back. I wanted to become a Montessori teacher,” she said.
To conclude the presentation, primary teacher Nancy Golden discussed the main areas of the classroom: practical life, sensorial, math, cultural studies, and language. Each area instills traits a student needs for success.
The practical life area teaches children small skills they need to perform care tasks themselves like pouring, spooning, cutting, or folding laundry. These tasks provide children a sense of independence and ownership of their work and environment. These tasks also refine fine motor skills, a precursor for writing.
The sensorial area lets children explore in the way that’s most natural to them: through their senses. This area enriches a child’s vocabulary and leads into another key area: language. Language focuses on exposure to new words, letters, and sounds while children are young and in their most sensitive period for language acquisition.
Similarly, math is taught with concrete concepts, with physical beads or counters, before it moves to more abstract concepts, such as written expressions of math. Hudson Montessori School puts a strong emphasis on an annual schoolwide social studies theme, which works naturally with the Montessori philosophy, and its teachers infuse each classroom with rich cultural activities. Montessori stresses the part each person plays in a global community.
The staff addressed parent questions about the Montessori method. Parents and teachers had an insightful discussion about encouraging children to try new things, how Montessori handles a student acting out, what parents can do at home to be consistent with the Montessori methodology. The teacher’s also shared their observations on students who easily transitioned to traditional schools.
We are thrilled that so many families attended the parent education session to gain a better understanding of their child’s Montessori education. The next Parent Education Night is scheduled for our parents on Wednesday, October 6, via Zoom It will cover the language and practical life areas of the classroom in greater detail.