As the Kingston Daily Freeman reports today, the Montessori program at George Washington elementary school is having a positive impact on students.
The Freeman reports that “Nancy Griggs, a first-grade teacher, said she has not relied on consequences for misbehavior or ‘bribery,’ like giving out stickers for good performance. Griggs estimated that she submitted 15 disciplinary referrals last school year compared to none this year.”
No surprises here. My wife and I have had our daughter Marina attending the Montessori pre-school at Winter Bear here in Kingston for the past two years. The teachers instruct students on practical life skills that build confidence, self esteem and self worth.
One of the mantra’s of the program, which is why it works so well, is to “never do for a child what they can do for themselves.” Also, as Griggs points out, there are no punishments or bribes. Students are treated as equal to adults, and are shown respect and love.
If you have school-aged children and are interested in learning more about the Montessori Method, check out this FAQ.
I also think there are other methods and programs available that help nurture young minds in positive ways. The Sudbury School is a democratic model that works in similar ways to Montessori. Another notable, alternative education method for children is the Waldorf School.
I think the nearest Waldorf School is in New Paltz. And there’s a Sudbury school — one of 40 in the U.S. — just outside Kingston off of Route 28.
Regarding the direction of public schools toward more progressive methods is long overdue. And it is wonderful to see that there is Montessori program here in Kingston.
— Arthur Zaczkiewicz