About AME

What is American Montessori Elementary (AME)?

American Montessori Elementary School is a 1st through 3rd grade private, non-profit Montessori elementary classroom. It is a classroom that embraces the needs of each child while providing an academically rigorous, yet balanced, multi-subject elementary education under the guidance and direction of an experienced Montessori trained and Credentialed Master teacher.

Mission Statement

American Montessori Elementary is a 1st through 3rd grade private, nonprofit Montessori elementary classroom.  It is a classroom that embraces the needs of each child while providing an academically rigorous, yet balanced, multi-subject elementary education under the guidance and direction of our head teacher, Miss Teci Jarnigan.

Montessori Education

The Purpose of Montessori Education

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person. He must do it himself or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues learning long after the hours and years he spends in the classroom because he is motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. Dr. Montessori, therefore, felt that the goal of early childhood education should not focus on filling the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate each child’s individual natural desire to learn.

In the Montessori classroom, this objective is approached in two ways:  first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by his own choice rather than by being forced; and second, by helping him to perfect all his natural tools for learning, so that his ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations.  The Montessori materials have this dual long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.

The Role of the Teacher

In a Montessori classroom, there is no front of the room and no teacher’s desk as a focal point of attention because the stimulation for learning comes from the total environment. Dr. Montessori always referred to the teacher as a “directress,” and her role differs considerably from that of a traditional teacher. She is, first of all, a very keen observer of the individual interests and needs of each child, and her daily work proceeds from her observations rather than from a prepared curriculum. She demonstrates the correct use of materials as they are individually chosen for the children. She carefully watches the progress of each child and keeps a record of his work with the materials. She is trained to recognize periods of readiness. Sometimes she must divert a child who chooses material that is beyond his ability; at other times, she must encourage a child who is hesitant. Whenever a child makes a mistake, she refrains, if possible, from intervening and allows him to discover his own error through further manipulation of the self-correcting material. This procedure follows Dr. Montessori’s principle that a child learns through experience.

Why Mixed Groups?

If classroom equipment is to be challenging enough to provoke a learning response, it must be properly matched to the standard that an individual child has already developed in his past experience. This experience is so varied that the most satisfying choice can usually be made only by the child himself. The Montessori classroom offers him the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of graded materials. The child can grow as his interests lead him from one level of complexity to another. Having children in grades first through third together permits younger children a graded series of models for imitation and permits the older ones an opportunity to reinforce their own knowledge by helping the younger students.

Non-Competitive Atmosphere

….Because the children work individually with the materials, there is little competition in the Montessori classroom. Each child relates only to his/her own previous work and his/her progress is not compared to the achievements of other youngsters. Competition in education should be introduced only after the child has gained confidence in the use of the basic skills.