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Heather Siple-first day-016As I moved throughout the building this week, I once again realized the effort that goes into helping children feel at home in their classroom. There were tears on the part of parents and children; starting school can be a tough transition for everyone. What I noticed most is what the Wilmington Montessori School staff does to make each classroom a warm, welcoming safe place.

The first six weeks of school are spent with a focus on establishing community and getting to know one another. What we know is that feeling secure and part of the group are the basis for learning. If children do not feel valued and included, they will not be ready to learn and will not try things new to them, worrying about making mistakes and what others may think. Once a group is cohesive, children will take the risks inherent in learning. They will venture a guess, try a new piece of work, make mistakes and accept guidance as offered.

At WMS we work hard to create classroom communities that allow children to thrive and to support each other as they learn. Everyone comes to school with varying strengths and challenges. Our classrooms embrace student learning. Focusing on the social curriculum allows this atmosphere to persist throughout the year.