There are many things that need to be done to prepare for the new school year. Because I am a Montessori school owner as well as a teacher, I have responsibilities for the building, the classroom, the staff, and the families to ensure they are ready for a successful school year.
Preparing for the New Year in a Montessori School: A School Owner's Perspective
Each year the building needs inspections to ensure it is up to code for health and safety and fire regulations. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers must be inspected and serviced. Our school puts aside some money annually to maintain the building and keep it looking well cared for. The repairs and upgrades we do each year vary from replacing windows or flooring to painting. The outdoor space also needs to be maintained. We invite our families and staff to help with overall yard maintenance and gardening to ensure the outdoor space is beautiful and inviting.
At the end of each school year, the school and all the materials are sanitized (and repaired if needed) so that they are ready for the following year. Before the school year begins, I place orders and shop for all the necessary supplies the classrooms will need, such as pencil crayons, notebooks, glue, etc. I also review and purchase any Montessori materials that are needed. As well, I restock school and office supplies we need such as toilet paper, light bulbs, and cleaning supplies.
Before the students come back to class, my main focus is helping the staff prepare and ensuring they have the professional tools they need for a successful year. We spend considerable time together going over Montessori philosophy, school procedures, and expectations for students and staff. We also review and learn about new strategies for success. Staff members are expected to update their first aid and CPR and provide updated criminal records checks during the summer, so we are not concerned with these items during the first week back. We also set aside some time during the beginning of the year for team building among the staff. It is really important to develop strong connections and positive support systems for each other.
Preparing the students and families for a successful start to the year is another important task for a Montessori school owner. I make sure that families are informed about our school calendar for the year, our procedures and expectations, and our mission statement. Providing education on Montessori philosophy is extremely helpful to our families as it ensures they are supportive and knowledgeable about our programs and classroom environments.
Developing positive relationships with parents and students during the first month helps to set the foundation for a successful year.
There are many responsibilities of a Montessori school owner, but it is extremely rewarding to know what we have built and are continuing to build lays the foundation for our future generations.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, October 7, 2015.