Dear Future Montessori Parents,
If you are reading this letter, you are in the same place I was many years ago when the time came to make a decision about preschool. In those days, the frenzy was about making sure everything was ‘perfect’ for my sons, and it was almost by chance I heard about Montessori schools since that had not been a part of my upbringing. While I was impressed with the open house presentation, what converted me from aspirational belief to instilled confidence came from the guiding wisdom of Rhonda Bielik. I came to observe a method of teaching that drew out my children’s innate love of learning. Now in 4th and 1st grade we’re still talking (and creating) about space, nature, robots, physics, inventions which were all spawned out of what was instilled in those early years.
Instruction aside, what truly struck me was during my first ‘parent-teacher’ conference, where I listened to Mrs. Bielik tell me things about my son. These were Insights that could only have been known by someone who connected with him in the most depthful way. This was not a teacher talking, it was what I would call a nurturer, and actually a spiritual nurturer if you’re inclined towards those beliefs. My son’s ‘teacher’ paid attention to him in a way showing how she tuned into his inner strengths, curiosities, talents, and areas needing growth. This, of course, was all communicated in a metaphorical “Montessori Way” that left me wanting more feedback, but also with full confidence that he was not only in good hands, but a place that I knew great things would happen in a very natural developmental transformation.
If I could award Mrs. Bielik with an honorary Ph.D. in child development, it would be without hesitation.
Eric Frazer, Psy. D.
Assistant Clinical Professor-Yale University School of Medicine