Montessori nurseries differentiate themselves clearly from other nurseries by the environment created in the classroom. The furniture, teaching materials and learning tools are designed to establish an environment where the child experiences learning which is fascinating and absorbing, stimulating further discovery, rational thought and independence. With such experiences developed in the formative years, a positive attitude to learning is established and carries through to later life. The role of the ‘teacher’ is different from that of the conventional teacher. Through careful observation of the child, the ‘teacher’ identifies signs of readiness towards further progress, thereby directing the child towards activities that will fulfil the child’s individual needs. Hence, a Montessori ‘teacher’ is referred to as a Directress. The Montessori approach is not simply concerned with intellectual development but seeks to create a ‘well-rounded’ individual. As well as mental development, physical, social and emotional development are also promoted in equal measures. The Montessori approach is a universal one, equally suitable for the gifted and those with special needs, and thrives in an international or multi-cultural setting, as encountered at Daisies Montessori Nursery School. The overall goal is to foster a confident, happy child, instilled with an enthusiasm for learning and armed with a healthy respect for others.
A Montessori Directress is said to be: ‘Behind the child, to see were they have been, in front of the child, to see where they are going and next to the child in case they need help.’