One of the biggest concerns for prospective families is how their children will transition into the Montessori prepared environment. Will they be welcomed by their new friends? Will the Montessori guides take the time to meet with them, and care for them, especially if they need it? Basically, will their child have any difficulties entering the classroom.
We offer parents a number of tips to help encourage a smooth transition. Tips include talking posititively about school, driving by the new location, reminiscing about your time at school, etc. We also have a phasing in schedule, in which we recommend, depending on the child and their needs, that they start out only an hour for the first day, and progressively stay longer.
Transitions are always different, unique to each individual student, but the Montessori classroom has a wonderful way of accepting new faces: with care, generosity and interest. Last week, the student featured above, completed her first week of school. So many of her new friends offered to help, showing her around, asking her if she needed anything.
We have a phrase that we employ, and that so many Montessori schools have ingrained in their philosophy: "Believe in the child, and the child will believe in you." They'll feel comfortable. They'll feel welcomed. Said another way, "Trust the children, and they will trust you." Establishing trust often takes time, but transitions are always smoother when this is understood.