As a Montessori Teacher, it is a great joy to be invited into another Montessori environment. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure to spend a day at Spokane Valley Montessori School. I was presenting a training for Montessori Assistant Teachers, sponsored by the International Association for Montessori Education, a new Teacher Education Program forming in Spokane, Washington. Gwen, the owner of Spokane Valley Montessori School, graciously allowed us the use of her fabulous school for the day! Wow! What a perfect setting for assistant teachers to practice and see the importance of the prepared environment. The school is gorgeous, spotlessly clean, filled with beauty and light, and everything is in its place and ready for use by the children. Gwen has been involved in Montessori education for forty years, and Montessori education is her passion!
The building was purpose built for a Montessori School, so sinks, toilets, etc., are all just the right size for the children. The rooms are filled with natural light from the big picture windows. On the day I visited, snow was falling. I could just imagine the excitement of the children gathered at the windows watching the first snow of this winter. Magical! I could imagine the children watching the birds flock to the feeder. How lovely for children to be so connected to the outdoors, even when inside. I also loved the direct access to the outdoors from the classroom.
I really loved the seasonal work offered to the children. You could see the colors and shapes of the season all through the environment – napkins for folding in greens, oranges, reds and browns, napkin rings shaped like leaves, pumpkin work, corn work, fall colors on offer at the easel, seasonal books . . .
The rooms were really spacious, with lots of floor space for big works. All of the classrooms had lots of practical life tools ready for the children to use, and lots of lovely cozy spaces, too!
I enjoyed the day so much! We had teachers from five different schools – Spokane Valley Montessori, Spokane Falls Montessori, Spokane Montessori North, Children’s Montessori, Inc., and the Montessori School of Pullman.
We learned a lot from each other, and shared a delicious soup we cooked together, in a retelling of the story, ‘Stone Soup.’ Thanks once again, International Association for Montessori Education, and Spokane Valley Montessori School, for inviting me. I send a special big thanks to Gwen, the owner, for sharing her beautiful school with the larger Montessori community. Your school is an absolute gem!