Our Values and Beliefs

The mission of McGuffey Montessori School is to educate a diverse community, emphasizing well-rounded academics in a welcoming and sustainable environment while engaging each learner:

  • to take risks and accept challenges,
  • to embrace the joy of learning, exploring, and growing,
  • to realize his or her creative and intellectual potential.

McGuffey Montessori School Statement of Values and Beliefs

Our values spring from our philosophical base for creating an intentional community of learners. Our beliefs illustrate our pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning.

Kindness, integrity, and true effort

  • ethical and intellectual courage
  • respect for each other and ourselves
  • an openness to that which is different and new
  • a sense of awe and responsibility
  • challenge that excites learning
  • motivating and educating one’s self
  • persistence
  • the uniquely and delightfully human abilities to empathize and synthesize

Learning and the process of constructing meaning

  • actively encouraging curiosity and fostering the desire to know more, discover for oneself, venture into uncharted territory, and to seek alternative, innovative, and creative answers
  • encouraging the developing ability to identify what one knows and to identify and communicate what one doesn’t know
  • applauding the courage it takes to tackle the hard stuff and the time it takes to practice and maintain hard-won skills
  • believing that there is honor in attempting challenging material or a difficult task, reason for pride in small steps toward goals, with cheers for each success, not sighs for those skills not yet mastered
  • and hoping for honest humility and gratitude for serendipity, sheer luck, and unearned success

Process as well as product

  • recognizing that often it is the journey, not the destination, that matters
  • honoring a good attempt, regardless of outcome
  • finding value and benefit in “messing about”, wondering, inventing, and idle daydreaming
  • encouraging safe experimentation as a means of “finding out”

Learning as part of a community

  • sharing the excitement and purpose of school
  • working in a “community of scholars” of various levels and degrees of accomplishment
  • learning in group settings, with consideration for others and fidelity to one’s own tasks
  • developing the ability to share the leadership role, to contribute to group effort, to brainstorm effectively, to listen to the ideas of others, and to plan collectively

Learning as an individual endeavor

  • as a personal quest for information, explorations, and mastery of uncharted territories
  • with growing investment and ownership
  • trusting one’s own perceptions and intuitions
  • with integrity and “academic honesty”

The sharing of information and skills

  • serving as a teacher, regardless of age – mentoring, partnering, encouraging peers, and those both older and younger than oneself
  • collaboratively, as explorations, examination, dreaming, or for the joy of it, with or without a goal
  • using a wide range of technology and media, both verbally and non-verbally

Listening and responding

  • with honesty, kindness, and respect
  • with empathy, working to understand and consider other points of view
  • with respect for the privacy of the individual

Personal and group responsibility

  • for one’s own learning, behavior, effect on others, share of the work, and the good of the greater whole
  • toward entities larger than oneself: family, home, school, community, nation, and world
  • by advocating for those less able to advocate for themselves
  • for questioning, re-defining, acting

Diversity in our community

  • recognizing that a school community rich in diversity provides all members with increased learning opportunities
  • understanding the relationship and importance of diversity to our other values and beliefs

We believe in:

Mixed age grouping

  • learning in the company of those who have differing levels of experience and skills, sharing, mentoring, and having the opportunity to be both the “big kid” and the “little” one
  • working with and benefiting from diverse viewpoints, learning styles, and approaches

Interdisciplinary learning

  • searching for connections, parallels, causes, effects, ripples
  • sharing viewpoints, sources, resources, factors, outcomes
  • recognizing the connections among disciplines
  • learning from multiple perspectives and in purposeful contexts

A strong foundation of academic skills

  • employing the best educational ideas of our times
  • utilizing mastery-based learning, revising, finding errors, making corrections, and mastering material before moving on
  • encouraging enrichment, connections, and horizontal as well as vertical growth
  • revisiting topics at successive ages in a spiral curriculum
  • with high expectations appropriate to individual development

Diagnostic and prescriptive teaching

  • beginning where the learner is, assessing with a variety of means, and designing the next step to fit the learner
  • moving in small, logical steps, watching for signs of mastery, a need for practice, additional experience, or re-teaching
  • allowing for blinding insight and non-linear thinking and knowing
  • teaching blending multiple methods, technologies, and sources to accommodate and strengthen multiple intelligences and learning styles

Differentiated, independent learning

  • recognizing that the rapid acquisition and consolidation periods of learners may not coincide
  • allowing for the “teachable moment”
  • fostering the “light bulb” joy of discovery

Learning how one learns

  • observing one’s own most and least effective strategies
  • observing others, and adopting and adapting what might work
  • acting on suggestions from others including parents and teachers and observations of the ways in which younger children learn

Learning how to learn in classroom and beyond classroom settings

  • using books, computers, multi-media
  • learning from peers, teachers, media sources, and those who have “been there” and in discussions, lectures, interviews, speeches, and stories
  • learning to use and balance input from a wide variety of sources through guided exposure
  • participating in discussion, discourse, constructive debate, reflection, and process
  • utilizing non-traditional classrooms by leaving the school for field trips, observations, and off-site experiences
  • developing the tools to carry passion and curiosity further

Learning the skills of learning

  • organizing time, materials, and assignments
  • breaking tasks into manageable “chunks”
  • designing a project, experiment, or course of study
  • modifying a plan when necessary and/or appropriate
  • reading for information and for pleasure
  • taking notes, using study guides, organizing materials
  • being technologically literate
  • navigating the world of information, judging the difference between noise and knowledge

Learning to preserve and present one’s thoughts, skills, and talents

  • conveying knowledge attained and evidence of learning
  • writing, for a variety of uses and audiences
  • publishing/presenting via computer, pencil, pen, photography, movie, movement, drama
  • reporting and presenting orally
  • presenting graphically: graph, map, timeline, chart, artistic rendering, cut and paste

Learning to apply one’s thoughts, skills, and talents beyond school

  • recognizing universal concerns of humanity
  • articulating and advocating for self and others
  • growing connections outward

Teacher leadership that enriches teaching and learning

  • constructing a living mosaic of the best current and classic educational ideas, collaborating to provide a dynamic learning environment
  • engaging in professional development to grow personally and professionally
  • being involved in school-wide decision-making

Sound like something right for your child? Contact us!

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