Hello! I hope you are all having a wonderful summer. As the last few weeks approach I thought I would wrap up a few loose ends left over from last year.
The first is that our committee changed it name from the “Montessori Finance Committee” to the “Montessori Community Committee”. We are still largely focussed on working with our teachers to spend our donation money fairly and equitably but we are also involved with developing community through our Parent Education evenings additional initiatives. For that reason we thought a name change was in order.
The second hanging thread was that we have developed “Guiding Principles” to help, well, guide us when deciding where to allocate our resources. The are perma-linked on the navigation bar but please find them below. If you have any questions about these principles or want to join our committee in the fall (we are nice and always looking for help!) please let me know or comment on this post.
During the remainder of August I will also be posting our complete detailed financials from last year as well as our approved budget for 2018/2019. But on to the principles…
Respect for the Child and their Family (Family)
“Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul.” ~Maria Montessori : From Childhood to Adolescence
We support all our Maple Grove families by providing Parent Education events and learning materials (books, videos, etc…). We advocate for the Montessori Program with the Vancouver School Board and beyond. We work to strengthen ties with the mainstream track at Maple Grove and with other Montessori Schools in the lower mainland. We are inclusive and welcome diversity in our midst.
A Prepared Environment (Classroom)
“To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable them to develop freely.” ~Maria Montessori : The Secret of Childhood
We support the teachers in providing a prepared environment for our students. We fund purchases such as Montessori-appropriate furniture (shelving, tables, chairs, etc…); work area items (carpets, baskets, mats); and practical life tools (brooms, sponges, sewing supplies).
Curriculum Support (Materials)
“Our aim is not merely to make the [children] understand, and still less to force them to memorize, but so to touch their imagination as to enthuse them to their innermost core.” ~Maria Montessori
We recognize that the use of Montessori Materials in the classroom is key to the program. We support purchasing core materials (e.g., Pink Tower, replacement Golden Beads, etc…). We support the foundational ideal of individualized and project-based learning (e.g., marble run supplies, EV batteries, anthropology materials).
For items such as technology, books, and social-emotional support materials we participate in matching general PAC funds (when possible) to help facilitate the purchase of these items for all Maple Grove classrooms.
Extending Experiences/Going Out (Extend)
“When the [children go] out, it is the world itself that offers itself to them. Let us take the [children] out to show them real things instead of making objects which represent ideas and closing them up in cupboards.” ~Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori recognized that children needed to expand into their community to increase their knowledge and learning and become contributing members of our world. We fund “going out” experiences that may otherwise be too cost-prohibitive for individual classrooms to participate in. “Going out” may also include inviting guests to our school (e.g., Project Chef).
Role of the Teacher (Teacher)
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’” ~Maria Montessori : The Absorbent Mind
Our teachers are the heart of the program and their continued development and education is important. We fund Professional Development; teacher work coverage for facilitation or mentorship; and Montessori education coalition membership. To ensure that the exceptional quality of teaching continues, we help mentor and support our practicum teachers where possible.
“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” ~Maria Montessori : To Educate the Human Potential,
We recognize that the members of the committee are volunteers who care about our children, our school, and our world. We treat each other with respect and dignity and work collaboratively with any member of our school community in however great a number as want to help.