"The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six." -Dr. Maria Montessori
A Montessori education is preparation for life. Today's research in education and human development is beginning to prove what Dr. Montessori theorized over 100 years ago: humans develop across a series of four planes, each of which is unique in its own ways.
The first plane of development, between birth and age six, is marked by extraordinary psychological and physical growth. At Morningside Montessori School, our seasoned Montessorians and early childhood educators understand that this phase is critical in every developmental way. More learning takes place at this stage of life than during any other. During this sensitive period, children are able to think concretely and absorb all that surrounds them. Thus, Dr. Montessori called this the time of the "Absorbent Mind." That is precisely why, at Morningside Montessori, we take great care in designing a prepared environment that meets the developmental needs of toddlers (ages 2-3) and primary school children (ages 3-6).
Our tight-knit community of parents, children and school staff work harmoniously to cultivate the potential of every child. We would love to partner with your family to help prepare your child for life.
The Montessori approach is inclusive of all learning styles and provides for all children’s talents to be nurtured as they grow. Instruction is inherently differentiated as the teachers facilitate learning in small groups and individually during extended work times. In differentiated instruction, children are placed at the center of teaching and learning. Because each child comes to school with a different set of learning needs and varying degrees of academic skill development, differentiated instruction tailors the curriculum to each child in the classroom. Our curriculum includes a blend of whole-class, small group, and individual instruction. We observe children extensively and collate their work in portfolios over the course of the year, allowing for authentic and comprehensive assessments of each child's development.
It is a tenet of Montessori philosophy that children learn in mixed-age classrooms. This mentor-mentee relationship inspires younger children to learn from older ones, which in turn, helps reinforce the knowledge and skills of older children. Re-teaching reinforces previously learned concepts and moves children toward greater mastery. It also helps develop independence and autonomy in the older child, something that is often lacking in traditional settings. This process of ’thinking about thinking’ is a powerful cognitive task for children. In understanding what your peer knows, you must take your peers’ perspective.
In the first year of the 5-Day Program, children are working on following the topic at hand, managing their bodies, processing what other children are saying, and delving into the work on the shelves. Our 5-Day children typically stay in their classroom for two years.
Central to our mission is the involvement of each child's stakeholders. Families and teachers work together to create experiences and environments at school and at home that ignite the potential in each child. To support our families and their children, we offer a Parent Education Program, which is a series of workshops held throughout the school year. It includes learning opportunities and moments for parents to decompress so that they can recharge. The workshops are a forum for learning, exchanging ideas, and an opportunity to further build relationships with the other Morningside families.
Visit our Parent Education Program page for a list of our fall offerings. All workshops are open to parents on the Upper West Side community.
A vibrant faculty, formally trained, is the backbone of the Morningside Montessori School education. Respect for each child guides our teachers, making them flexible and responsive. From the safety of the positive environment, our children take risks and achieve independence. The Morningside Montessori staff is also committed to drawing on the many resources in our community, reflecting its diversity and honoring the school’s ethic of inclusion.
The themes of connection and community are further manifested in the world of Morningside by the role of alumni. Our many two and even three-generation Morningside families offer testament to the powerful foundation the school provides. The respectful, personal teaching style makes Morningside memorable and vital for our graduates.