Montessori schools around the world are celebrating Montessori Education Week this week. Parents and visitors to The Montessori Children’s Academy (MCA) will notice festive banners on display at our schools and an excited buzz in the air as we begin this week-long celebration in honor of Dr. Montessori and the Montessori Method. Montessori Education Week is a highlight of the school year for MCA, and the warm feeling and festivities surrounding this occasion are certainly a welcome respite from a long, cold New Jersey winter. We wanted to share a little bit more about why we’re celebrating and what we’re doing to mark 110 years of Montessori education.
Why We Celebrate Montessori Education Week
There are four reasons we choose to celebrate Montessori Education Week:
- To reflect on the extraordinary life of Dr. Maria Montessori: Did you know that, in addition to being a pioneer in education, Maria Montessori was a medical doctor, a WWII refugee, an author, an advocate for peace, and a parent? Her biography is as impressive as her legacy. An important part of Montessori Education Week is learning about Dr. Montessori and her contributions not only to the world of education, but to the world as a whole.
- To share the benefits of a Montessori education with our local communities: Many people recognize the word “Montessori” but don’t understand its meaning. The Montessori Method is an innovative, hands-on, cross- curricular, and globally conscious educational philosophy. Children from early childhood through elementary and beyond benefit from working in Montessori environments, as they provide students with opportunities to expand both their academic and social skills necessary for critical thinking and civic responsibility in an ever-changing world.
- To celebrate the “birthday” of Montessori education: This year marks 110 years since the establishment of the first Montessori school, Casa de Bambini (or “Children’s House”) in Rome, Italy. 110 years is quite a milestone!
- To build a strong school community: MCA’s families are united by a common thread: a shared belief that a Montessori education is the best choice for the children in their lives. We relish the opportunity to have more of our parents, as well as important extended members of our MCA families – grandparents, nannies, and alumni students – join us for the special activities and events we have planned during Montessori Education Week. The continued support and dedication to MCA by this wide school community is a testament to the spirit of Dr. Montessori.
How We Celebrate
Every year, MCA plans a variety of celebrations during Montessori Education Week. Some of these special activities occur in our classrooms during the school day, and some are shared off-campus throughout the local towns where our MCA families live.
This year, parents have the opportunity to join us each day of Montessori Education Week for classroom observations and to watch students present formal demonstrations of favorite Practical Life lessons. During the school day, students will be taking part in special lessons about Maria Montessori, her native Italy, and timeless peace activities, such as lighting a candle for peace. Finally, we hope to see families from all three of our MCA campuses at Romanelli’s Pizza and Italian Eatery in Madison for our capstone Montessori Education Week celebration on Saturday, March 4th. At this event, students will share their favorite Montessori lessons with friends from other campuses, and the MCA community will wrap up its Girls on the Run community outreach campaign.
MCA is also spreading the spirit of Dr. Montessori beyond the walls of MCA through student-created art displays. Under the guidance of our Head Teachers, each MCA class has created an art project inspired by Montessori materials and lessons. Student artwork can be found at the public libraries in the following towns where MCA families live: Chatham, Florham Park, Livingston, Madison, Maplewood, Millburn, and Morristown/Morris Township. If a visit to your library is in your weekly routine (and we hope it is!) remember to check out the incredible exhibits featuring MCA’s students’ original artwork. The photo below is MCA’s display at the Madison Library:
Get in the MEW Spirit: Three Fun, Shareable Montessori Resources
- Shaping a Love of Learning at MCA’s Morristown Campus: This short video shares the stories of some of our alumni students and how their time at MCA inspired a lifelong love of learning.
- The 10 Commandments of Maria Montessori: We borrowed this infographic from our friends in NYC at Twin Parks Montessori. It’s a wonderful guide for parents and teachers alike!
- BBCs “Extraordinary Women” Series had an episode about Maria Montessori a few years ago that we love. Watch an excerpt from the episode below and to learn more about Dr. Montessori’s biography: