Guidepost Montessori School opened a Williamsburg campus in April with big plans for this school year involving Spanish immersion. In July, Stephanie Jimenez, whose daughter attends Guidepost Montessori, was appointed as head of school.
Guidepost currently has two classrooms for 3- to 6-year-olds: a bilingual, English-Spanish classroom and a monolingual, English classroom. The school also offers classes for ages 1-2 and 2-3. Jimenez says the school plans to open up a new Spanish immersion classroom for ages 3-6.
“We see and approach each child as an individual, and we don’t treat them like they’re the child and we’re the adult. We see them as the adults that they will become soon, so we work with them according to their individual needs to help them grow and develop,” Jimenez says.
Guidepost uses the Montessori method in their educational agenda, which is an approach to education that is child centered and based in reality.
“If you walk into our school, it looks very different than a traditional school,” Jimenez says. “Everything is made from natural material, mostly out of wood, and the children engage in practical life activities.”
Jimenez recalled an example from a 3-6 year old classroom in which a teacher accessed one of the children who was having a hard time learning to write numbers and letters. The teacher then realized the child needed to practice more activities in the practical life area such as scrubbing a table in order to get his hands used to the movement and fine motor skills needed to write numbers and letters correctly.
“Depending on the age group, you’ll see children preparing food, some of the older children are even sewing, or cleaning the table or washing dishes,” says Jimenez.
Main image courtesy Guidepost Montessori