The Lefferts Gardens Montessori School is very proud of its professional and experienced faculty of Montessori teachers and trained classroom assistants. Talented classroom specialists provide additional enrichment to the curriculum at LGM. Continuing education courses, conferences and seminars are critical to the evolving field of education. Each teacher at LGM is required to maintain a continuing education plan unique to his or her area of concentration. Student development is a composite of the development of both students and staff members. If everyone is growing, the school finds new integration and expression of its values.
The Whole Child
From the perspective of Maria Montessori and those who have followed in her steps, each child is a whole child with an intellect, cognitive capacities, linguistics and social skills housed in a physical body and an unassailable spirity. A Montessori environment is prepared for the whole child and children are encouraged to make use of the whole environment.
The instinctive strides of a child's earliest years now, by the age of three, four, and five, give way to more deliberate efforts to make sense of and master their world. At LGM, children receive support to look inside for inspiration and to do things for themselves.
On a practical level, this requires a work ethic on the part of the teacher and the child. We help children learn to problem-solve so they can think for themselves, rather than give them the answers. Though there are group and one-on-one presentations by our teachers, our teachers do not say "Today I am going to teach you". They model and authentic engagement with life and learning through the class materials. Thus, children learn the Montessori method of selecting an activity, settling down to work, respecting their companions as they work, focusing and completing the work at hand, and replacing the material when finished to complete the process.
From such a simple method, the whole child blossoms. Our modeling demonstrates a way of being. They develop habits of mind that naturally result in soundness of spirit and a trustworthy autonomy. From their freedom, they learn responsibility, self-respect, and acquire an innate self-discipline.
Out of this, children gain self-confidence and develop an appreciation of aesthetics. They move gracefully within their environment and relate to the world through a serenity and joyfulness that results in dignity, respect for others, and respect for the materials and their environment. These children wish to be respected, not as embryonic adults but as individuals who respect the liberties to which they are accustomed and deserving.
This result transcends the classroom to reveal something about human nature – order, respect, and self-discipline result in freedom, creativity, self-respect and dignity which in turn generates respect for others.
In our Montessori environment, children learn to love to focus and concentrate, work hard, see knowledge, problem-solve and live harmoniously.