Deconstructing Our Mission: Part 5

The last element of our mission is our partnership with parents. When we lived in Belgium, my kids went to a little Montessori school.  I reached out to volunteer and was rebuffed with a strong message that “parents are not necessary here.”  When they later found out that I was Montessori-trained, I was pulled in as a substitute teacher and I got to know them better.  There was a deep cultural sentiment there — in Europe in general — that educators are the experts and parents should let them do their thing.

We do not subscribe to that philosophy at The Fulton School. There is an old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child. We want to be your village.  All of us working together with similar philosophies and approaches create a secure and healthy network for your child to depend on. They will hear similar messages about character, decisions, skills, and knowledge in a variety of ways from a variety of voices.  This synergy provides an incredible foundation for them as they launch into adulthood.  It empowers them in a way that simply learning to read or to do math never could; it empowers them in a way that mixed messages never could.

Your partnership with our teachers, including your child’s voice as they develop it, is absolutely key to the strength of the school…and ultimately key to the self confidence of your child.

Deconstructing Our Mission: Part 4

As we continue through our mission and philosophy, it’s time to highlight our emphasis on diversity.  This is not your typical approach to diversity–we are intentionally broad, both to avoid trends and to truly embrace the differences that we all have. We are not only thinking about race and ethnicity, although those are important.  We appreciate the differing family cultures our students experience (this includes religion, race, ethnicity, as well as geography, politics, and other qualities that don’t fit easily into a bucket), different learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, and a variety of goals (some people just want to be comfortable in their own skin, others are looking for emotional/academic safety, while some are aiming to get into top universities and have high-powered jobs).

Celebrating how each child is different provides three values to the community:

  1. It’s a surefire way to ensure that every child feels respected and cared for.  We value each student for the unique combination of traits, gifts, preferences, and skills they bring to our community and, eventually, the world.
  2. It creates an acceptable context for the things we’re *not* good at or that we don’t do.  If it’s a given that everyone isn’t great at everything and everyone will fail sometimes, then we don’t feel don’t feel so bad when others do things well.  We need each other, in the context of all that we’re appreciated for, so that we don’t feel singled out for our perceived shortcomings…they’re just par for the course.
  3. Lastly, it teaches our students to interact with, respect, and appreciate those who are different from them, so that when they encounter differences that may not be represented in our small community, the students are prepared to appreciate them and/or handle them graciously.

Our differences make the world go ’round.  They make us stronger.  And that’s not the default view of human nature, so we have to teach it actively.

Deconstructing Our Mission: Part 3

I am continuing with a breakdown of our mission and philosophy — they are the compass we use to create your child’s experience here.

Our values elaborate on the implementation of the mission.  We’ve identified four major values over the years. The first, and in many ways the most all-encompassing, is the Montessori philosophy.  Very few schools have a philosophy to follow; they piece together a mix of tradition, staff personalities/influences, texts (texts represent a philosophy for their subjects), current fashion, and default chance.

The Montessori pedagogy provides us with more than 100 years of theory, backed up by almost as many years of child psychology and learning theory (Dr. Montessori started her first school in the early 20th century, and these fields really took off after World War II). This philosophy provides a continuity from the youngest students to the oldest students that would be difficult to manufacture.  Our classroom experience, teacher relationships, and curricular engagement should “feel” very similar no matter the age of the student. It changes as their developmental needs change and cultural expectations evolve, but the core expectations and goals really don’t change.  And we believe that this environment is the best context for children to develop into the best version of themselves possible.

Our Values

We believe the Montessori philosophy provides the best opportunity to build confidence, character, and leadership in students.   

We dedicate ourselves to building a joyful, inspired, educational community that develops communication skills, critical thinking skills, and creativity in every child through relevant, hands-on, student-centered teaching.  

We celebrate a diversity of cultures, learning styles, talents, and personal goals.

We create a partnership between parents, teachers, and students, knowing that parental involvement is key to the success of the students and the school.

Our Promise to Parents

To rethink education, making the Fulton School an extension of your home, cultivating your children’s capabilities and character to best equip them for the future.