Maria Montessori, born in Italy in 1870, was the first woman in her country to become a medical doctor. The majority of her work was with mentally disabled children or children with few resources, and through that work, she developed an alternative method of education that met the needs of a child’s natural development. Her ultimate goal was to create a school where children could feel at home, hence the first school she opened in Rome was named “Casa dei Bambini” or “Children’s House” in 1907. It was here she observed the self-confidence and independence that arose when children were given materials that were self-correcting (meaning the teacher didn’t need to tell them it was right or wrong) and a classroom made to fit their needs instead of the adults. Ultimately, in Montessori, respect for the child is paramount.
We will employ these values to strengthen and grow our classroom community. Eventually, the children will be able to run the class independently. As Maria Montessori said, “The greatest sign of success of a teacher is to be able to say the children are now working as if I didn’t exist.” As always, at Ryozan Park Preschool we celebrate diversity and inclusion in everything we do. It is never too early to educate for empowerment. Graduates of our Montessori kindergarten show self-direction, independence, and a sense of responsibility for themselves, their peers, and their environment: all qualities that prepare them for the next stage of education, whether it be Japanese elementary or international school.