Montessori is a universal method of education. One of its beauties is that the materials translate to every culture. For adventurous teachers, that means a Montessori credential can open up a world of opportunities. Andrea Blackwell, a South Carolina native, and student in Lander University’s Montessori Program, is taking advantage of those opportunities to complete her practicum in Warsaw Poland.
Warsaw Montessori School is an AMS school in Warsaw, Poland. The 3-6 level just celebrated its 15th year and the Elementary School has completed its 7th year. The Elementary is a small, bilingual school. Located next to the largest park in Warsaw, it offers a transition class, two 6-9 (one bilingual and one all English speaking), a 9-12 English class and a 4th, 5th and 6th grade Polish bilingual class that integrates Montessori materials while preparing students for Polish middle school. Warsaw Montessori offers German, French, Polish and English. The students at are from all over the world (about 75% are from Poland, some from Scotland, Finland, Holland, America, England, Spanish, Italian and French). Children at the Elementary School are fluent in English and a second language, either Polish or their native language.
Andrea’s classroom just has 12 students- from Poland, Finland, Spain, Italy and France. They are fluent in English and, according to Andrea, “Teaching the students is just like teaching a classroom in the USA, only the students constantly have to brainstorm with each other to remember the English word! I also teach an hour of English to the Polish fourth grade students every morning. They are fluent as well (not as fluent as my students) and enjoy creative expression and projects relating to their English usage. There are many activities offered in the afternoon- yoga, art, ballet, soccer, creative writing, drama, Bollywood dancing, piano, chess, French, etc.”