About Montessori

Montessori is an educational philosophy rooted in the observations and research of Dr. Maria Montessori.

Montessori teachers are trained to observe each child's individual interests and development level. The teachers prepare the classroom so that each child is free to independently choose his/her work throughout the work cycle. Based on her observations, the teacher presents "lessons" to the children from a variety of subject areas.

Children are encouraged to choose and repeat these lessons independently.  Many of the Montessori materials have a "control of error," allowing the child to independently correct his/her own mistakes.  Children can choose to work alone or with friends.

Montessori classrooms also grant children the opportunity to independently care for themselves, their peers, and their environment. The mixed-age environment creates a family-like rather than competitive community.  Because each child typically stays with the same teacher for three years, an incredible bond is formed between the teacher and each member of the community.

Montessori Resources

More information about the Montessori philosophy can be found at the following sites:

Montessori Madness! by Trevor Eissler

Our Community's Values

Willow Oak Montessori is a vibrant community based on a shared set of values, as articulated below.

Individual Growth

We are passionate about building a learning community that recognizes the unique possibilities of every human being.  We “follow the child” in the classroom, observing each child's interests and using those interests to engage the child and cultivate a life-long love of learning.  We provide diverse opportunities for our students, parents, staff, and board to develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities.


We recognize that we are connected to one another, the Earth, and the global community.  We are committed to making choices that reflect our shared commitment to living in harmony with others and our environment.

Peaceful Cooperation

We help one another, actively listen to each other, and enjoy our different ways of being.  We encourage collaboration rather than competition in the classroom and in our dealings with one another and the broader community.  We assume good intentions and strive to resolve conflict in a way that builds peace and trust within our community.

Respectful Care

Our faculty members are trained professionals who take excellent care of our students in partnership with their parents.  Our Board takes care of our faculty through a balance of meaningful professional development, compensation and benefits.  Our families take care of one another and our faculty in a spirit of caring and mutual respect.