The Montessori Advantage During COVID

Walk into a Green Hedges Montessori classroom on any given day and this is what you’ll likely see: a classroom that is thoughtfully arranged and inviting with a variety of activities and lessons. You may see one student working on an activity by him or herself in one area of the room and in another space, two students, perhaps of different ages, working across from each other. The children in these classes work at tables or on the floor, rolling out mats on which to work to define their work space. Students are responsibly distanced from one another thanks to the hard work and planning for the Montessori faculty over the summer and all students are wearing masks indoors and outdoors.

The Montessori Directresses, Ms. Nichols, Ms. Heill, and Mrs. Ashkan, and their assistants, Ms. Mills, Ms. Khalsa and Ms. Ingham, are always nearby, observing the students as they work and guiding them with lessons and challenges, but adhering to the philosophy and practices of Maria Montessori to “help me to do it myself.”

Green Hedges campus has been transformed in many ways this fall as the School prepared to reopen to in-person learning. Classrooms were redesigned to ensure proper social distancing and safety. This was at the forefront of the Montessori faculty’s minds when designing their classrooms this year. The changes in Montessori classrooms include:

  • Siblings who were previously in different classrooms are now in the same classroom in order to keep children of the same household together.
  • Work tables and mats for students are assigned.
  • After completing a lesson, students bring the lesson to the “cleaning” table so that it may be properly disinfected.
  • Only one student at a time is allowed to work on any given Montessori activity.
  • Outdoors, only 1-2 students at a time may play at the sand box, water table, play kitchen, or when using building materials.
  • Music and movement, French, and art teachers come to the classroom rather than having students travel to different classrooms. Our librarian also visits each Montessori classroom on a rotating basis.

Through all of the changes this year, Montessori students, our youngest on campus, have adapted exceedingly well. The primary principles of Montessori remain intact in our classrooms and our students are shown real-life skills that they work to master, all in an environment that continues to be safe, nurturing, and educational.