Even though Allen is not starting school until October 1st (and after he's potty-trained), we were invited to EC Montessori's Back to School Night. I was really excited to go because I wanted us to meet his teachers, and I wanted Allen to see his classroom so it wouldn't be quite so overwhelming on the first day of school.
As soon as we walked through the front doors and saw the Director, we felt so welcomed! She said several times how please she was the we came, and she directed us to his classroom right away. It was the same one that Allen spent some time in earlier this summer when he and I toured the school, so he wasn't quite as overwhelmed as I feared.
He stayed in Mom's or Dad's arms for a few minutes as we met his teachers, Ms. Rose and Ms. Avril; but pretty soon he was walking around and exploring. He asked us to sit down with him and look at a peg toy (I'm sure that's not the correct name for it, but I'm still new at the Montessori philosophy so bear with me). This happened to be the same toy that Ms. Bev showed him earlier in the summer, so I knew that he remembered the room and the earlier experience.
Ms. Avril joined us after a few minutes, and pretty soon, he had run off with her to "work" on something else (I did learn that the children do not "play" at Montessori school. They work. Mom works, Dad works, Allen works. It gives the child a sense of confidence and places importance on what he is doing. I love that.) As you can see, he totally hit it off with Ms. Avril.
Back to School Night was supposed to consist of a half-hour in the classroom, and then about an hour out in the playground for picnic dinners. I had packed our little picnic, and Brian and I were ready to dig in. But Allen had different plans. And eating was not in those plans. He played with Ms. Avril for a really long time, and when we finally convinced him that we should leave, he nearly knocked her over when he hugged her.
Once we got outside, we had chickens to see, equipmment to play on, and dirt to play in. We also caught up with three of his favorite girls who pushed him on the swings for awhile. We never did get to eat ....
All in all, it was a fabulous experience. I have never met a more warm or enthusiastic teacher as Ms. Avril. She went on and on about how excited she was to meet him, and how she couldn't wait to have him in class. And she was very reassuring and warm with Mom and Dad too! I still don't know much about the Montessori method, but the staff at this school have me hooked anyway.