Recent Co-Starters – Greene Country – graduate, Wayne See has always wanted to give kids the opportunity to get a jump-start in life and their education. With the help of his wife, Beatriz, they made that a reality.
Original story by Eugenia Estes: Staff Writer for The Greeneville Sun
A new Montessori pre-school is open in Greene County and accepting students for their spring semester
The Middle Creek Montessori Pre-Schoo at 1016 John Bird Rd. will be open full-time on Aug. 6. The school accepts children between 31 months and 4 years. Five-year-old students will be accepted if they were not able to meet the deadline to enroll in kindergarten.
Beatriz See, owner of the new preschool, describes the Montessori program as “very hands-on, and the focus is on independent learning.” See has over 30 years of teaching experience and is a member of the American Montessori Association.
The Montessori educational program, named for its developer Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood and has been in use for more than 100 years throughout the world, according to the American Montessori Association website.
“It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment,” according to the association’s website. “It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child — physical, social, emotional, cognitive.”
For a program to be considered Montessori, it must include uninterrupted blocks of work time, multi-age groupings that foster peer learning, guided choice of work and Montessori learning materials arranged and available for use in an aesthetically pleasing environment, according to the association’s website.
“The materials encourage children to try new things, and there is always a way for students to assess their progress,” See said.
In the Montessori method, teaching emphasizes individual lessons for each student, while also including group and social activities. Cooperation and treating others with respect are important aspects of the culture of a Montessori school.
The classroom is prepared by the teacher to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order, according to the association’s website. The child, through individual choice, makes use of what the environment offers to develop himself, interacting with the teacher when support and/or guidance is needed.
See plays the guitar and encourages students to be musical while sometimes learning a new language.
The new school also has a minimalist, natural playground that encourages imaginative play with a canoe and other items that can be used in many ways. There will be an area for growing things so the students see things come to life, she said.
See and her husband, Wayne, who is assisting his wife in opening the school, have started the school to give back to the community through sharing See’s expertise and experience in teaching, they said.
For more information or to enroll a student, contact the school at 423-787-1999 or 305-725-8359 and check out their Facebook Page!