Instilling and encouraging qualities of a well-rounded global citizen is much like planting and nurturing a garden. At Northstar Montessori School, the seeds that we sow are independence, empathy, and respect. In order to have a beautiful, healthy and flourishing garden one needs to provide particular components, the most important of which is a prepared environment that will nurture and support growth.
Here at Northstar the roots of our program are grounded in the classroom environment itself. Our classrooms are designed to entice and invite the child to choose work from a myriad of esthetically pleasing and purposeful materials. From a young age children are encouraged to make independent choices. With the focus of our approach based on the developmental characteristics and needs of the child, we offer them the opportunity for social growth as they pursue enjoyable activities. With the freedom to move around the classroom and to speak with fellow classmates, children are encouraged to forge positive and supportive relationships with their peers. As students grow older these friendships become more meaningful and they develop into productive working relationships. Cooperation and collaboration inspire children to succeed at reaching a common goal.
In the Elementary years, a child’s curiosity grows beyond the classroom walls inspired by the world around them. At Northstar, encouraging exploration of the larger community is an integral part of our program. Supporting children in the quest to satisfy their appetite for knowledge is achieved by accompanying children out into their surrounding neighbourhoods. Whether students are looking for materials to build a spaceship or a scientist to answer their questions about biodiversity, the children are gaining exposure to the people and issues that surround them, cultivating empathy and respect as they go. Awareness progresses over time as the child moves from the security of the classroom surroundings to the greater community beyond. Eventually, this too expands to include views and ideas of a universal body.
In the Spring Northstar’s eldest students, will be heading to the United Nations in New York to attend the annual Montessori Model UN program. This program will offer our students the opportunity to actively participate in global citizenship. By transforming into international delegates, our students will discuss, debate and collaboratively work to resolve issues that affect our international community. This experience will provide them with the inspiration and support they need to know that they can make a difference. Just as we, the teachers, have sowed seeds of independence, empathy and respect in our students many years ago when they first arrived here, the students are now preparing to plant their own. Their seeds are ones of awareness, gratitude and hope. Northstar Montessori School’s garden is growing in abundance with diversity from a soil that is rich in love and respect.