A Day in the Life
“Desert Montessori helped my son blossom and grow from timid and insecure to confident, jubilant, and eager to learn. The morning transition from home to school has become smooth and worry-free.
When my 3 year old actually says ‘I want to go to school today’ in the morning, and walks happily into his classroom… it brings tears of joy to my eyes to know that we’re in the right place for him to develop into a thoughtful, caring, independent individual.”
It’s between 8:00-8:30 AM and it’s time for “Drop Off.” You pull up alongside the front of the school and our administrators and staff are there to greet your child, assist him or her out of your car, and escort all children into their classrooms.
Each child has a cubby or a locker where they hang up their jacket, backpack, and any other items they have, and where they exchange their outside shoes for inside slippers. Then your child will enter the classroom to be greeted by fellow classmates and the teachers – who have already prepared the classroom for the day’s activities.
At 8:30 each class has a Morning Meeting. Typically the class will sit in a circle, discuss the day’s activities to come, and share thoughts, feelings, and experiences with the group.
Then there is a Work Cycle where your child learns Academics. The classroom is organized with different types of work (aka “projects”) in different subject areas. Your child can reach all of these materials and gets to decide what to work on. Teachers use careful observation, classroom layout and motivational “hooks” to ensure that all students receive a complete, well-rounded academic education.
Once your child has selected work, they bring it back to their work space. This work space is something the child defines by using a mat on a table or a rug on the floor. Your child learns to focus intently on the work that is in his or her work space, and to finish work that is started and clean their work space (that’s why it’s called a “cycle”).
Teachers may give an individual lesson to your child, or your child may be in a small group that shares an area of interest. It depends on what is best for each individual child. All children are encouraged to discuss their work, what they’ve learned, and potentially to present their work to the class.
After the Work Cycle, depending on the age of your child, he or she will enjoy snack/lunch and recess. Eating and playing outside are opportunities for children to build practical life skills, develop social abilities, take responsibility for their actions, and enjoy spending time with their friends.
Then there is another Work Cycle which can be integrated with Art, Music, or Spanish, or for preschoolers there is a Rest Period.
The end of the school day is drawing near, and it’s time for a Closing Meeting. Children will clean up the classroom, sit in circle, reflect on what happened during the day, and potentially journal about their learning experiences of the day.
From 3:00-3:10 it’s Pick Up. You’ll park outside and come into the school to greet your child at the classroom. Of course, some children stay for Aftercare, which is available until 5:30 PM. Aftercare is like an additional sequence of Snack, Work Cycle, and Recess. Some children go directly to Swim Team or Mountain Biking.
When you pick up your child, you’ll ask about how things went and, in our experience, you probably won’t get a thorough, detailed report… but be assured that your child had a productive and fulfilling day, full of challenging work and cooperative play.
Your child is proud of what they have accomplished and looks forward to coming back to school tomorrow.
We look forward to having them return as well!