We had a great time at the Open House and Book Fair at Sean's school on Thursday. The book fair was a bit small, and in a small room, so the crowd was packed in. I think they should have had it in a different room, but that's just my opinion.
We spent quite a bit of time in his classroom, and by the time I got to the gym to check out the PTA and Golden Beads.org, etc. PTA was gone and I ended up just taking an order form for Golden Beads.
(Golden Beads supports local public Montessori education by selling fun Montessori shirts, notecards, and reusable sandwich bags. I hope to get more involved with them.)
It was the first time I've really been in the classroom to look around at what they have there. It's a complete lower elementary classroom with Neinhuis materials. His teacher has the room decorated with some large pieces of art along the back wall, and one batik piece that hangs above the math area.
Sean is content at this school, but his class is heavy with first graders, and not many of them have had Montessori before. His pervious school's lower elementary classroom was at least double the size.
I do have a few concerns, but I know that no school or situation is perfect. These aren't deal breakers for me, just things I think they could improve upon.
My personal opinion is that they should eat lunch in their classrooms. I don't see why they can't get someone to deliver trays for the kids who buy lunch, and I believe it should be part of the curriculum. You should learn how to sit at a table and use a napkin, etc.
In talking with some other parents, I don't think all of the staff are embracing Montessori methods. I realize the older students are still in regular public instruction, but it is concerning when a parent introduces their 3 year old and 5 year old children to a staff person on the playground and is greeted with, "I'm in charge here, and what I say goes."
I do love Sean's teacher, and have good communication with her. I have emailed her on several occasions and she is very open to anything I am willing to share with her. I've already sent her some links to blogs, and some information I've found online.
I took pictures at the Open House, but they didn't turn out good at all. I'll try again when I get a chance.