Independence and a sense of responsibility are two markers of maturity. Middle School students must constantly exercise their executive skills: juggling multiple assignments, keeping track of due dates, and coordinating efforts in group projects. Students gain independence while doing real tasks such as planning transportation for a trip, calling to make appointments for community service, or writing thank you notes to people who have assisted the community. In the words of one graduate: "Everyone is motivated to learn, and we encourage each other to be self-directed."
I would encourage all parents to look beyond the traditional markers of success when making the decision about whether to continue with your child’s Montessori education. What I see in my child, and in so many of her peers, is a child who works because she loves the process, who speaks and persuades others because she has a strong sense of herself and of her values. What grade she gets for her speech is the farthest thing from her mind… and I think that’s pretty great!Jennifer Norten