The last year and a half have been a challenge, to say the least. The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted education in a way unseen in recent history. At various times, many schools were forced to close their doors or switch to an all-virtual model to keep students safe. But this isn’t what you want for your child.
Luckily, many Montessori schools, including Montessori of New Paltz, have been able to stay open during these uncertain times. Our wonderful community of families has adapted to new protocols and our students have been thriving.
We doubt Maria Montessori had a worldwide pandemic in mind when she developed her amazing, child-led curriculum. But as it turns out, her teachings made our new safety procedures an easy transition for our students.
Here are a few ways that Montessori practices easily create Covid-safe classrooms.
• Montessori teaches kindness and courtesy
A Montessori curriculum teaches to the whole child. Our teachings go beyond academic pursuits. Our students learn grace and courtesy — two traits that help children understand the importance of mask-wearing.
When you take the time to explain the role of masks in a community, our children are happy to mask up. Thinking of others is a skill that takes practice. Luckily, this is a common theme in a Montessori classroom. Our students are used to making choices while considering the needs of others. Masking is kindness and courtesy in action.
• Students understand their role in the community
None of us live on an island. The choices we make affect others. Our students have a solid grasp of their place in the world by taking an active role in their classroom and school community.
Handwashing has always been a part of the Montessori curriculum. The job of handwashing teaches many skills, including pouring and coordination. But teaching them why we wash our hands is just as important. Understanding personal responsibility is a major tenet in Montessori philosophy and has helped our students transition easily into more Covid safe practices.
Children can understand so much when we give them the chance. Respecting a child allows them to own their choices. And when given the choice to help others, our kind children will choose what’s right for their community.
• Classroom spaces are respected and loved
Montessori students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning environment. Keeping a tidy space is one of the earliest lessons learned. And many of our practical life activities involve cleaning the classroom.
These practices aren’t done arbitrarily. And students don’t complete this work just because they are told to. They learn early on to respect their learning space. Keeping a beautiful classroom is important to our students. So when Covid hit and our cleaning protocols became more stringent, our students were ready and happy to help.
• A focus on nature takes the learning outside
Creating a strong connection to the natural world is an important part of the Montessori curriculum. Kids can dig their hands into the dirt of their classroom gardens. And nature walks are an important part of their daily learning.
Taking our work outside means safer learning for our students. And because the Montessori method emphasizes time in the natural world, the Montessori of New Paltz campus is well-equipped to host these safer outdoor experiences.
• Montessori principles are Covid-safe by design
We are forever grateful to our amazing community for working together during these trying times. The Montessori philosophy gave our students the best chance to remain in the classroom over the last year, and our students have done a wonderful job adapting to new safety protocols.
At Montessori of New Paltz, we take your child’s education and safety seriously. If you are looking for a safe space for your child this year, visit our Contact page and schedule your tour today.