Following the child is a dictum of Maria Montessori...
Sister Mary Alice M., School Director
Following the child is a dictum of Maria Montessori which I have seen lived out at the Montessori School of Manhattan. Here the highly qualified staff meets the needs and develops the potential of each unique child. Small classrooms artfully appointed, an abundance of materials and specially trained teachers create an atmosphere that nurtures the growth of each child. Self-esteem, self-discipline, responsibility, cooperation, ability to share, self confidence, appropriate behavior with each other and with adults are qualities which I have observed in the students during my visits to MSM. An oasis of security and joy, of stimulation and growth is provided by MSM preparing the students for a full and meaningful life within the complexities of New York City.
Most schools give something to the poor at Christmas. MSM went beyond that and began to share with us not only classroom materials, but also the wealth of experience their staff has to offer. Over the past several years, the teachers and parent community of MSM have helped to build, guide, and train a small group of teachers who serve Haitian migrant children in a camp in the Dominican Republic. That little school, thanks to the training of the MSM volunteers has won praise from the government and respect of the local community. The life and energy of MSM has poured out beyond the confines of one city to guide a small outpost modeled on its structure.
What does it say about a group of teachers who give their own vacation time to travel to the third world and train teachers of a poor school? That same commitment, generosity, and nurturing is given to each and every MSM student. What does it say about a school where students do not want to graduate because it means that they will have to leave this beloved second home? A world of happiness has been created for them where they feel good about themselves and thrive while growing as persons and receiving a first rate education.