Have you visited the new Montessori Nurtury in North Liberty? If not, then now is the time! We recently spoke with the director, Lillian, about all of the great opportunities this new facility has to offer for your infants and toddlers. Today we are happy to share this conversation with you and inform you about this great new addition to our community…
1.Could you explain briefly the Montessori philosophy? How does it differ from “traditional” teaching methods?
La Montessori Nurtury follows the Montessori educational philosophy founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907. Montessori was the first woman in Italy to become a physician and based her educational methods on scientific observation of children’s learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children can freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities.
Through Montessori’s observations of children, she identified “sensitive periods” in their development during which they are able to learn with ease if the opportunity is provided. She discovered that after the sensitive period had passed, children had more difficulty absorbing skills and information. From her findings, Montessori developed the Montessori Method in which teachers act as observers in the classroom, altering the environment to meet the developmental needs of each child, and presenting individual lessons to children based on their observations.
When Montessori teachers observe children pursuing activities of their choice, the teachers are able to identify and respond to each special phase of learning. This allows the Montessori teacher to fit their approach to the individual child rather than the child having to conform to the program and pre-determined group lessons. By learning this way, young children are able to develop a love-an appreciation-for learning that provides a strong foundation for the rest of their life.
The biggest difference between Montessori and traditional teaching methods is that the education is individualized for each child and the environment is continually altered based on what the children need (the children are not limited to what is in the classroom at the beginning of the year. It is changed on a weekly basis!) Montessori is for everyone!
The youngest students at La Montessori Nurtury are in the Nido classroom (Italian for nest). In the Nido room, each baby has a primary-caregiver that provides consistent loving care each day to ensure that a strong bond and trust develops. The Montessori Method for infants encourages each of them to develop naturally in their own way and at their own pace within a prepared environment that is characterized by order, simplicity, and beauty. The classroom has a variety of interesting objects to look at, explore, and experience, which are designed to meet the developmental stages and sensitive periods of the infant.
The toddler years include sensitive periods of learning in the areas of Movement, Language, Order, Independence and Social Learning. The Montessori toddler classroom is an exploration environment, which allows for maximum freedom, movement, and experimentation. Specially chosen materials and activities allow them to practice and develop new skills while playing. Toddlers participate in activities that develop their language, senses, motor skills, and build practical life skills. Examples of activities include transferring, using a variety of utensils, sorting, opening and closing, matching, learning colors and numbers, learning to button, snap, and zip, and learning to care for oneself in the context of dressing, eating, etc.
3.Tell us a little bit about your center director(s). Are they originally from the Iowa City area? If not, what brings them here?
The Director, Lillian Rivera, grew up in Sperry (a small town south of Iowa City) and moved to Iowa City to study at the University of Iowa; she has lived here ever since. Lillian first learned about the Montessori philosophy while taking an early childhood studies course at the University of Iowa. Upon graduating with a Bachelors Degree, she pursued an Infant/Toddler Montessori Teaching Diploma. Opening La Montessori Nurtury was a dream come true!
The Assistant Director, Cassie Sadewasser, grew up in North Liberty and now lives in Coralville. Cassie has two children and has been working in childcare for the past ten years. She has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Iowa in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.
It is nice to be located in the Iowa City area because of the cultural learning opportunities it provides for the children.
We also like that it is a family friendly area, especially since North Liberty has a lot of young families and that creates a sense of community.
5. Many of our readers may not be familiar with this new location. Please tell us a bit more about where you are located, what hours you are open, etc.
La Montessori Nurtury is located in North Liberty next-door to the Montessori Children’s Garden Pre-school. We care for children 6 weeks to 3 years, and the pre-school is for ages 3-6. Our hours are Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and we offer full-time and part-time programs.
- Our center offers a warm and welcoming home-like environment.
- We strive to generate a sense of community among teachers, children, and families.
- We are the first Infant-Toddler Montessori center in the corridor area.
- We currently have openings for infants and toddlers. We also have openings for teachers.
More information can be found on our website: www.lamontessorinurtury.com and our Facebook page. Interested parents are welcome to schedule a tour!
A special thanks to Lillian for sharing her dream come true with us today. Be sure to check out La Montessori Nurtury in North Liberty!