About a year ago, a Montessori school for Dothan was just an idea. Today, it’s a reality.
The school has been open for nearly a month now, educating pre-kindergarten and kindergarten age children in the hands-on, self-directed Montessori method. Supporters of the new Montessori school gathered Friday for an official ribbon cutting. Attendees got a brief tour of the school, which is located at the vestry building of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity at 205 Holly Lane.
“It’s kind of unbelievable and thrilling to think how quickly this came together,” said Emily Heersink, board president of the school. “It just shows how ready Dothan was for this educational opportunity.”
The school currently has 19 students – including toddlers and children in primary classes. Spots remain available for additional students.
Montessori schools focus on hands-on education and instructional methods that cater to the interests and aptitudes of the child. The purpose is to produce students who are pro-active and self-disciplined learners. Some criticisms of the method include concerns that students may not become proficient in areas of study that they are not interested in learning.
For Max Hobbie, 4, the Montessori method has been a winner. In just a few weeks of classes, Hobbie is already writing his name. Hobbie and Brody Black demonstrated a few Montessori tools on Friday for visitors.
“He’s writing his name and knows the alphabet and he’s putting things away at home,” said Marie Johnson Burr, his grandmother.
Tara Black said she enjoys the peaceful learning environment the school provides for her son Brody.
“We’re thrilled,” she said. “Brody loves going to school every day.”