How to Get the Most out of a School Visit
Categories: For Parents / Visiting Wheaton Montessori
When you visit our school – or any school – it can be intimidating. Questions race through your mind: “What should be the focus?” “How do I know I’m looking at the “right” thing to determine what’s best my child?” “Can I ask what-in-the-wide-world-of-Montessori is the big pink tower is supposed to teach?”
This list is aimed for parents of current students, but prospective Wheaton Montessori schools should read through as well. Choosing a school and becoming a part of the community is an enormous family decision. Here are some ways to keep the focus on your child’s development, happiness, and growth as you observe.
- Your child is a very important part of our community! Use your observation time to get to know the classroom community better. What are the age ranges? Ability ranges of the children? Who does your child seem drawn towards? And who looks up to your child as a role model?
- Watch the whole class – not just your child. Observation is a great way to see how far your child has come and where he or she is going. It can give you a sense of what your child is working toward or what your child has already mastered. Who are the role models? What is your child learning from these other children?
- Take note of how the children treat each other. When conflict arises, how is it resolved? Does the teacher intervene? How is disruption handled by the teacher or students?
- See how the children move around the classroom and handle the materials. Are they respectful Courteous? Interacting?
- Enjoy the diversity of work as you observe the children watering plants, caring for pets, polishing, calculating, reading, writing, etc. What types of activities are a part of the daily routine? What is expected of the child?
- Just watch. Teachers will be be able to answer questions at the end of the visit. The more you allow your child and the students to carry out their work and focus on their tasks, the better your observation and understanding will be. In other words, observation really is just that – observing! The more you stay back and allow your child to engage in his or her work as they normally do each day, the better of an idea you will have about the work that they are capable of doing!