Our Montessori school culture is the wide-angle view of our shared mission, values, attitudes and behaviors. Relationships grow out of how we treat one another and our traditions and activities that reflect collaboration and collegiality. It can also be felt in the natural order of things and the unwritten set of rules that adults and children live by. The feel of our culture is so palpable that most visitors experience it immediately when entering our schools. Twin Parks Montessori Schools’ culture is where the journey of learning begins.
There are many commonalities within the intimate community of our schools: children are precious beings in our care; family time is important and protected; excellent education is vital; creativity, independence and intrinsic motivation are important life skills; and, we rely on one another to help our children experience success. The location of our schools in New York City also provides a globally diverse experience for our community.
Twin Parks’ faculty and staff communicate their shared values and build relationships. First, we are all responsible for our students’ learning. Our conversations with each other are positive and collaborative in support of serving our students and families. We are partners with parents regarding the growth and development of our students. We strive for cordial, collegial and encouraging communication with parents. Our weekly “peeks” at the activities in the classrooms, our whole school newsletters, blog, emails, socials, and coffee chats all helpto bring a greater level of understanding to our parents of what we do at school.
We also communicate our values to our students. Children learn how to take care of their specially prepared classrooms. They become keepers of their environments, classroom pets and plants. Teachers model the relationship behaviors that they know result in students’ successful communication with each other by using their words. Students learn how to take care of one another and the classroom community as a whole. Students know they belong and are valued as members of the community.
Our school culture is demonstrated by the way we make decisions. Ultimately, I make the final determinations. However, every employee has the opportunity to share his/her voice in making these decisions. Faculty meetings come alive with brainstorming and sharing of experiences – all of which help with thinking before deciding. Teachers have opportunities to interact around their craft and improve their teaching in a collaborative atmosphere. We all work together to build a better school. In addition, Parents’ Voice, a group of parents with representation from each classroom, meets with me monthly to explore ways to enrich our students’ and families’ experiences at Twin Parks Montessori Schools.
Perhaps the greatest indicator of our school culture is our teachers’ attitudes towards their work and their continuous efforts toward improvement. Research has shown that teachers have greater efficacy when they are provided with high quality professional development. We value current research about children and adult growth and development and strive to bring quality presentations to our school.
This first decade of life is the time when children are developing their personalities and moral compasses. At no other time is overall growth so pronounced and rapidly changing. Perhaps the most influential teachers are those that a child experiences during his/her first 10 years. These first teachers assist the child and his/her family as they negotiate their physical, behavioral, cognitive and social development. Your decision to enroll at one of Twin Parks Montessori Schools enables your child to experience and excel in an environment tailored to his/her developmental needs with materials that will provide comfort and challenges.
This past year, each teacher reflected on what s/he values. For many, family rose to the top of the list. As is true for so many of you, family is considered first when making decisions. Honesty, trust, integrity, love and personal growth were high on the list. Each year we reflect on our personal experiences and best practices as they are demonstrated through our work with our students. And so our cycle of discovery, strategic planning, and renewal that reinforces our shared purpose and values, and strengthens our school community, begins again!
May our love, values and community shine through and allow students’ physical, social and academic development thrive! Twin Parks Montessori Schools are places where the journey of learning begins!
Let’s put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.
~Chief Sitting Bull~