The Montessori Classroom

If you are not familiar with the Montessori method or pedagogy, you may be wondering about the benefits and how it differs from a more “traditional education”. So, what does a Montessori school like? What does it feel like?
At the Yadkin Valley Community School, we aim to bring out the best in each individual child by fostering independence, initiative, curiosity and intrinsic motivation. We do this through hands-on learning and meaningful experiences.

When you tour our school, you’ll see that it does not look or feel like a traditional school. If you were to peek inside YVCS on any given morning, you may see the K-2nd class heading out for their morning hike, the 3rd – 5th grade students working individually to complete their workplans, and 6th – 8th grade students participating in a group discussion connecting current and historical events. You may see one student barefoot, curled up with a book in one of the reading nooks, another student meeting with her teacher to set goals for the week, and another student doing research with a large timeline stretched across the floor. This is what a Montessori school looks like:

  • FREEDOM OF CHOICE: Students move freely about the classroom, choosing materials, deciding the order in which they would like to complete their work and where they would like to sit. Beginning in kindergarten, students use individualized work plans (for the day or week depending on age). The children learn to manage their time and workload appropriately which becomes very beneficial as they transition to high school.

  • THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT: A Montessori classroom is beautiful, calm and orderly, not overly stimulating with bright colors or decorations that will actually detract from the child’s work. Carefully created materials are intended to inspire and engage students. Natural object spark wonder. From lighting to plants, everything purposefully contributes to the prepared environment and the student’s experience.

  • FOLLOWING THE CHILD: At our school, we meet a child where he/she is and help them grow from there using a variety of techniques. A scope and sequence is followed throughout a three-year cycle, and children progress at their own pace. The teacher follows the child, giving individual lessons based on needs identified through observation.

  • STUDENT CENTERED EDUCATION: Our classrooms are student led. Children set goals, choose projects that are interesting to them and reflect on their accomplishments and progress. The teacher is their to guide and assist, not to be the sole source of information. We want our students to ask questions, lead discussions and explore their passions.