Key Tenets

ADAPTATION PERIOD

A 3 years old child who goes to school for the first time, is facing a group of strangers in an unknown place, and this can cause children a lot of stress and anxiety if their parents leave them there alone. That is why we suggest a period of actual adaptation: the attachment figures of the child are allowed to be present in the classrooms as long as necessary. Consequently, children accompanied by their mother, father, grandmother, or any adult they have as a reference will gradually bond with the new place and companions, feeling safe and without anxiety. A peaceful transition that turns the new space into a place where they feel valued and their emotional and cognitive needs are being satisfied, a place where they love to be and where gradually they won´t need their attachment figures to be present anymore.

SELF-REGULATED SPHINCTER CONTROL

We are fully aware that sphincter control is a process that cannot be learned and, therefore, must not be forced, since it is an achievement that should come in a natural way out of a process of mere neuromuscular maturation. Sphincter control is a crucial matter for children’s development and it must always be approached with respect for the child’s self-regulation, otherwise, it could cause many problems related to physical and psychological issues. Therefore, in our school diapers are welcome and there is always a person who takes care of changing children’s diapers when they need it.

SELF-DISCIPLINE

Quoting Maria Montessori: “Let children do whatever they want when they have not developed their will, it is betraying the proper sense of freedom”, and: “If freedom is understood as letting children move the way they want, using, or however, not using properly the objects around them, it is evident that at the same time deviations arise freely and normal conditions in children degenerate”. Therefore, it is very important not to confuse respect for children´s pace with the lack of boundaries and debauchery, because children´s development must be guided by the appropriate values.

Dr. Montessori called “normalization” to the process by which the child abandons possible negative behavior and acquires appropriate conduct. Normalized children show kindness, patience, empathy, satisfaction for their achievements, joy for the achievements of others, self-discipline, self-control, ability to choose and focus on an activity, etc. Obviously, always having in mind the stage of development in which the child is, normalization comes from concentration in an age-appropriate activity and from an active growth in the construction of their personality, achieved through the effort and their own experiences. In conclusion, this is the assignment that each child must fulfill to educate themselves and acquire the self-discipline that will guide them in all aspects for life.

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

One of the main premises of the Montessori Method is that children do not have assigned a chair and a table for each other, from which they cannot move unless they are given permission to go to the toilet or for recess. On the contrary, Montessori classrooms are wide and in them children move freely to take different trays with working materials, choosing the activity they want to work with. This way, a student can be seated at a table to carry out a specific activity, and when they finish it, they put it away to then, for instance, choose another one that is carried out using a cloth on the floor, and then continue with another one that will be held at a table different from the previous one.

This freedom of movement links up with the need for children, especially those of a younger age, not to sit for too long in the same place, because this lack of movement implies difficulties in motor skills, and consequently, brain and intellectual development, as well as problems in reaching ever longer periods of attention and concentration. Children need to move regularly.

Needless to say, this freedom must overlap with self-discipline, and from this freedom children understand there is a reason why it is necessary to move quietly through the classroom, in order not to bother the rest of the students that are working in silence. They learn that the rules we follow rest upon facilitate coexistence amongst everybody.

DAILY RECORD OF THE EVOLUTION OF EACH STUDENT

In our school each student works daily on an individual basis with a qualified Montessori Guide, and with the help of the digital platform Transparent Classroom the guide registers every day the student´s performance. This way, our school conducts a daily assessment using a digital platform which is specifically designed for Montessori schools.

Everything each student has done is registered in Transparent Classroom, including photos of the highlights, as well as attendance, drop offs and pick ups, archiving of documents and conference reports, etc. In other words, it allows to perform all tasks and activities related to the academic and administrative management of the center, as well as the educational follow-up of students.

Each family has their own personal password to access exclusively the information related to their own children, and monitor their evolution and development at any time.

BILINGUAL SCHOOL SPANISH/ENGLISH

Cuarto Creciente Montessori School is an international bilingual school authorized as such by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Boston, USA). Therefore, there will always be two Montessori guides in every classroom, one of them will talk to children in her mother tongue Spanish, and the other one in her mother tongue English. A genuine linguistic immersion is thus produced, embracing and generating a real bilingualism in our students.

RESPECT FOR INDIVIDUALITY

Every child is unique and consequently one of the main tasks of the guides in Cuarto Creciente Montessori School is to observe the children in their full complexity, in order to get to know and guide each of them in the most suitable way. We do not want to change them so that they are all alike according to arbitrary parameters. Our mission is to preserve their essence, let them be themselves and develop their innate potential, as Howard Gardner points out. Children must be the active subjects of their own learning and have to do it in their own way, always with our respectful accompaniment.

RESPECT FOR FEELINGS

Another central aspect in our school is the respect for feelings. We know that all feelings are necessary, they are the symptom that tells us that something is happening: feelings are something to be expressed, never hidden. In our space the expression of any type of feeling is respected and children will be attended whenever they need to cry or feel sad or angry. We know that every feeling is valid and when the emotion is accepted by listening and not denying it, we do not bottle it up and let it flow.

COOPERATION RATHER THAN COMPETITION

Cuarto Creciente Montessori School strongly believes in encouraging cooperation among children and not competitiveness. As a matter of fact, the biological origin of life lies in cooperation: cells joining together to form organs, organs cooperating with each other to form organic systems, systems cooperating to form the different animal and plant species. The history of human survival is also connected to cooperation: hominids organizing a group to hunt an animal that is larger and fiercer than them, harvesting in groups to avoid predator attacks, rearing children as a tribe to take care of each other. What makes us great, the secret to succeed, is to cooperate. Others boost our abilities in a sum of intelligences.

It should be noted that being competitive must not be confused with being competent, as being competitive means being always concerned about being better than the others, whereas being competent means to always give your best. Consequently, it goes without saying that being competent is a desirable quality, and necessary for the integral development of the person, to which must also be added the capacity for cooperation.

LOW RATIOS

Keeping in mind what has already been explained, it would be impossible to carry out this work methodology without having a low teacher/student ratio. This ratio is 1/10 in our school.

FAMILIES ARE PART OF THE SCHOOL

In Cuarto Creciente Montessori School families are an active part of the education process. Firstly, we place a tremendous importance on the correlation between the philosophy of the school and what is lived at home, so that children do not perceive relevant dissonances. Besides, we understand that it is essential to maintain fluid communication with families to share every morning if the child has slept well, how he/she is, if something has happened that could have upset him/her or if they have perceived a special interest in a specific topic… We will also keep you informed about the child’s development, the events that have happened in class and we will respond to any question you want to ask.

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