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Montessori Preschool Education in Denver with MCHD [Video]

Montessori Preschool Education in Denver

(Transcript)
Nikki Mindykowski (Primary Teacher): I’m Nikki Mindykowski and this is my primary one classroom with the Central Park campus. We’re in the middle of our afternoon work cycle, so the children are all working independently. Montessori is individualized education, so I see each child at their level as an individual, whether they come in in the primary from two and a half years old to six years old, so I have children who are learning to pour, refining their fine motor skills, all the way to children who are reading and doing static and dynamic addition and subtraction.

Rachel Averch (Founder, President): When they’re in their Primary age range, they are in a sensitive period for order, for concentration, for coordination, for independence.

Michele Heine (Executive Director): Montessori is following each individual child where they’re at, so you’re able to teach one child who’s ready to read exactly what they need to know, and for children who aren’t quite there, you’re able to go back and start with some basic word building and those types of things.

Rachel Averch: One of the things that’s really important when looking for a Montessori School is to make sure that they have a full three-hour work cycle. It’s crucial because there’s a period of time where there’s like this false fatigue that will happen and then really great learning happens. And then the later part of the day is dedicated to resting for the younger children and then the older kindergarten students have an extended day work cycle.

Nikki Mindykowski: We are an AMS accredited Montessori School so that means that you’re gonna see the traditional Montessori materials as far as the pink tower, the brown stair, dressing frames, practical life. The best way for them to learn is to be able to have their hands on it. And so, in an authentic Montessori environment, that’s what you’re gonna see is all these materials at the children’s level for them to be able to freely choose the direction they want to go.

Rachel Averch: The materials are very specific. They were developed by Maria Montessori herself. She developed them through observation and really thoughtful process and they’ve stood the test of time.

Sarah Mohagen (Assistant Executive Director): Our kindergarteners are starting to adventure into addition and subtraction and multiplication into the thousands place because they have these beautiful concrete hands-on materials that they can manipulate and see how numbers are exchanged and get a sensorial experience for numbers as well.

Nikki Mindykowski: “One, two three…”
Student: “Four, five.”
Nikki Mindykowski: “Yep.” 

Nikki Mindykowski: “Ten and two more makes…?”
Student: “Twelve.”
Nikki Mindykowski: “You got it.”

Itzel Rosales (Primary Teacher): Seeing them struggle, seeing them work very hard – and sometimes they get frustrated, sometimes they cry – but just giving them those words that there’s someone who believes in them and then out of nowhere they’re like “well I did it!” It’s very heartwarming, it’s just the best.

Lauren Darr (Primary Teacher): We have a really great natural playground with boulders and hills and just all sorts of things that the kids can play with, and we have a really nice greenhouse, and we do composting in all of the classrooms, and we have chickens that the kids can learn about during sustainability.

Itzel Rosales: I think my biggest responsibility is meeting their needs, helping them get where they have to be. Sometimes I feel like they don’t even know themselves, so I have to help them figure it out. I feel that that’s my responsibility: giving them the best that I can working with them every day.

Nikki Mindykowski: Honestly, the best part of my job is being in here with the kids. I’ve been in a leadership role, and I have been with younger kids and I’ve worked with older kids and I’ve taught specials and I’ve done a lot of things in my career and being in the primary classroom with these kids is what fills my cup every day. They’re always eager to learn and they’re always glad to see you and I can say, “Good morning, Bo!” and I say, “How are you today?” and he says, “I’m great!” And that makes my day, so that’s how I know I’m in the right place.

Itzel Rosales: We work as a team, you can feel that everybody knows each other. It’s very welcoming, very warm, everywhere you walk you see you know smiles, you see laughter, you have friends, it’s just great. I feel like it’s very very welcoming.

Nikki Mindykowski: I’m more than happy to have anyone come in. I love to share my love of Montessori with everyone, and so I feel like the best way to know if MCHD is the right fit for you is just to come in and see what’s happening. There’s nothing better than just seeing it and feeling it for yourself. I could tell you a million times that Montessori is amazing, I’ve been doing it for 25 years, and I’m completely invested, but seeing is believing. And if you’re in this environment and you’re watching them work and you’re listening to them talk and you’re seeing how eager they are to learn, that speaks volumes.


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