In MCH’s pre-school we maintain a ratio of 8:1 which enables as much individual attention as possible without taking away the child’s independence. We have tremendous respect for the child’s natural desire to learn and we instill our ratio to promote and encourage their desire.
In a Montessori environment it is imperative that the teacher act as a facilitator of the classroom instead of a lecturer. This allows for natural exploration and inquisitiveness of the child to blossom. It also permits the teacher to observe the child to see where his interest lies and create lessons specific to that child. We believe that all children progress at their own rate and not at a set schedule.
Lessons are given according to the child’s abilities, not the teacher. These are a few reasons why a small ratio is so vital in a Montessori classroom.
We also believe that children learn through all their senses, not a select few. All lessons are tangible; the only “rule” is before the child may work with the materials/lessons it must have been introduced to the child by a teacher. This ensures the proper use of the lessons and materials. After all, we are all creatures of habit and if the child is not shown what the lesson is and its purpose it will be more difficult to normalize the child to the environment.