You will know that you are in a Montessori school when you observe or detect the following features.
The teachers are not teaching.
It sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it? Teachers not teaching? That's because Montessori teachers don't run their classrooms in a conventional manner. You won't see desks lined up with children sitting watching and listening to a teacher at the front of the classroom.
The International Montessori Index explains how this works:
"Except for infant/toddler groups (Ratio dictated by local social service regulations), the teaching ratio is one trained Montessori teacher and one non-teaching aide to 30+ children. Rather than lecturing to large or small groups of children, the teacher is trained to teach one child at a time, and to oversee thirty or more children working on a broad array of tasks. She is facile in the basic lessons of math, language, the arts and sciences, and in guiding a child's research and exploration, capitalizing on his interest in and excitement about a subject. The teacher does not make assignments or dictate what to study or read, nor does she set a limit...
Private schools are not covered by NCLB. Consequently they do not have to teach to the test. So how are private schools held accountable? By you their customers. Parents and students. Simply put, if you are not satisfied with the job your private school is doing, you have the freedom to withdraw your child and put her in another school.
Private schools meet or exceed state academic standards.
The curriculum which each private school uses is chosen by the school. It is not dictated by the state or some other authority. The states generally require high school graduates to have a certain number of credits in core subject areas. But how those core subjects or any other subjects are taught is entirely up to the school. (That's why it is so important for you to choose a school whose teaching methods and curriculum most closely...
|143 b.c.||Chengdu Shishi High School was established in China.|
|69||Quintillian founded his school of rhetoric.|
|597||The King's School, Canterbury, England was established. It has the distinction of being the oldest private school in the world still operating.|
|1628||Collegiate School was founded in Manhattan, New York, USA. It is the oldest private school in America still extant and operating.|
|1799||Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi starts a school for orphans in Burgdorf. His writings on education inspired the study of pedagogy.|
|1809||Johann Friedrich Herbart establishes pedagogy as an discipline at the university at Gottingen.|
|1837||Friedrich Froebel creates Kindergarten or the Children's Garden. Kindergarten is the traditional first year of primary or elementary education for children in the United States.|
|1848||Stephen Girard's estate establishes Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for poor, white, fatherless boys.|
|1874||The German Saturday School Boston was founded thereby established the first foreign language school in the U.S.|
|1887||The will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop founds and endows the Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii. Mrs. Bishop was the last direct descendant of Hawaii's royal family. She directed that the schools educate free of charge indigenous children of the Hawaiian islands.|
|1896||John Dewey establishes The Laboratory Schools in Chicago, Illinois, and thus begins the movement...|
The following is quoted directly from the National Catholic Education Association's Annual Statistical Report on Schools, Enrollment and Staffing.
"U. S. Catholic school enrollment reached its peak during the early 1960s when there were more than 5.2 million students in almost thirteen thousand schools across the nation. The 1970s and 1980s saw a steep decline in both the number of schools and students. By 1990, there were approximately 2.5 million students in 8,719 schools. From the mid 1990s though 2000, there was a steady enrollment increase (1.3%) despite continued closings of schools.
Between the 2000 and the 2011 school years, 1,755 schools were reported closed or consolidated (21.5%). The number of students declined by 587,166 (22.1 %). The most seriously impacted have been elementary schools."
Personally, it saddens me to see any private school in decline. It's even worse to discover that schools have closed. But the sheer magnitude of these numbers is just plain scary. Let's examine some of the reasons why Catholic education finds itself in this state.
The economy is a major factor. The Great Recession of 2008 has cost millions of people their jobs. If parents have to struggle just to make ends meet, a private school education becomes unaffordable. And Catholic parochial...
1. Support your school financially.
Depending on where you live and what your schedule is like , supporting the school financially may be all that you can do. If you have the means to make a significant gift, then contact the development office to see how best to use your munificence. Leadership gifts are critical to any school's fund raising success. In any case give what you can. Gifts from parents are an important source of funding for most private schools.
2. Be a class parent.
Primary schools in particular will appreciate help with all sorts of things. You will be worth your weight in gold if you are the kind of parent who simply does what she is asked to do faithfully and without interfering with the teacher or children. Communicating with the other parents and getting them organized to do whatever the class needs done is part of the
role of the ideal class parent. Chaperoning field trips and walks might also be part of your volunteer work. Class parents are especially important these days because so many parents work. If you can help...