If you are a Montessori administrator or a Montessori school owner, or hope to be one in the near future, then please join us in this free Facebook discussion group.
I started this group because I desperately needed a community of people who were managing small schools. I am fortunate that I live in an area with a thriving Montessori community and am part of networking groups with other local heads of schools who are absolutely wonderful. But the truth is, the needs of big schools and the needs of tiny schools like mine are very different. I had immediate burning questions about how to get my school off the ground, how to get people in the door, how to manage my time, and how to deal with the overwhelm of doing it all. These are far removed from the concerns of people who manage large schools.
So, in January 2015, I reached out to the Trillium subscribers and invited other small school owners to join me in a discussion group where we could tell our startup stories, get inspired, offer advice and support, and share our triumphs and tribulations.
This is a wonderful community of Montessori administrators and school owners from around the world. Some of our members haven’t quite started the journey yet, but are preparing for it. This is THE community I turn to when I want to celebrate, and when I want to cry.
I have been involved in Montessori as a teacher, Head of School, Consultant, Mentor, and workshop facilitator for 28 years. As an administrator, I wish that this group had been available years ago when I first began this journey, but am so grateful to now have this as a resource. After running a larger Montessori school for 20 years, I decided to begin my own program just a few years ago, and although I had my previous experience to build on, starting on my own was a new path. This group, through the discussions, and through Seemi’s sharing and guidance, has helped me feel supported and answered questions along the way. I also deeply appreciate the feeling of ‘family’ here, with everyone helping and supporting each other. I highly recommend this group for those considering the start of a program, and for others who are in the active process of starting programs and working in schools.
-Pamela Green, Ananda Montessori
A few important things to note before you fill out the application below… we are pretty committed to authentic Montessori practice, but we don’t talk curriculum. This is strictly a group about school administration. This keeps our discussions very focused. We also expect all members to have a solid foundation in Montessori principles because we don’t want to get bogged down in discussions about policy decisions that run counter to good Montessori practice. Therefore, professional Montessori training and 3 years of Montessori teaching experience is a membership requirement. This is not a group for Montessori newbies. If you’re recently trained, please join us in the Trillium community group. One more thing… this is not a group for silent membership! If you’re in, you will need to participate, at least minimally, in order to keep you membership current!
So, if this sounds like something that might work for you, read the instructions below and fill out the application! If you don’t get approved, it means you’re missing one of the steps or do not meet the requirements. If you think you did everything right but still haven’t been added to the group within 48 hours, please apply again in case it didn’t go through. (PS I will not be emailing you if there’s anything missing. I’m counting on you to read the instructions!)
I enjoy being a part of this group because it gives me a feeling of connectedness to other Montessori school owners. I am located in a small town in Wyoming, and finding others who speak my language is impossible here. I have owned The Montessori School of the Tetons since 1993, and continue to seek out ways to improve myself and my preschool, which is something this group helps to foster.
-Dee Buckstaff, The Montessori School of the Tetons
HOW TO APPLY
1. You will need a Facebook account if you don’t already have one
2. Read the Membership Requirements and Community Guidelines below
3.Fill out the form below
4. Click “Join” on the How I Started My Montessori School group page
5. Your join request will be approved if you meet the membership requirements.
6. Introduce yourself; tell us how you started your school or what your dreams are! Also fill out the “Top Tips” document with your best success tips and lessons learned.
**Membership is free**
**Membership requirements are non-negotiable. No exceptions. Thank you for understanding.**
If you have requested to join but have not been approved yet, it means that you’re missing one of the above steps. Please make sure you’ve clicked the “join” button and have completed the application form below.
If you have followed all the steps but still have not been approved, please try applying again in case your application did not go through.
Please note: You MUST meet the membership requirements in order to be approved.
1. Must have completed professional and accredited Montessori training and have a minimum of 3 years experience leading a Montessori classroom after getting your Montessori credential. We expect that members will have an understanding of essential Montessori concepts as they pertain to a classroom setting. At this time, Montessori training aimed at homeschoolers is not eligible.
2. You must be a current or former owner of a Montessori school, or be planning to start one in the near future. We want all members to be able to contribute intelligently. If you’re brand new to the process of starting a school, you’ll have lots of questions, which is a great way to get discussions flowing! But if you’re not really planning to start a school and don’t have experience running one, you won’t have much to say.
3. Participation is required. Once you are approved, please introduce yourself so we all know “who’s in the room”. Regular participation by way of posts, comments, or likes is expected.
Don’t Meet the Requirements?
Join us in the the Trillium Community group for more general discussions about Montessori. You can also ask admin questions there!
Privacy and Confidentiality
This is a “Closed” Facebook group. Anything posted in the group will show up in the newsfeeds of members only. Your friends will not see your postings unless they too are members. Read more about FB group privacy settings here: https://www.facebook.com/help/220336891328465/?ref=u2u
By being a member of this group you agree to maintain the confidentiality of all members and topics discussed. Of course, please use common sense and your discretion with the amount of information you share about yourself.
Names of students and parents should NEVER be mentioned in this group. Any mentions of such individuals will be deleted.
You may upload files of documents that you have created. You may not upload or share documents that you have purchased elsewhere and/or that you do not own the rights to. This includes marketing materials, handouts, record keeping, curriculum materials etc. If you would like to recommend a resource, please provide a link or the contact information for the original source.
This forum is for discussing the admin needs of individuals who have started their own Montessori schools or who manage and run a Montessori school. All administration topics are acceptable.
This is also a forum where we can discuss the emotional journey of being an entrepreneur or leader. Fears, challenges, milestones and celebrations are all welcome. Being an entrepreneur and leader can be a lonely business and we are happy to be a support network for each other!
This is not the forum for discussing general curriculum and teaching topics unless it is from an admin perspective. Before you post, please take a moment to check if you are asking your question with your admin hat on or you teacher hat. For example: You have a situation where the classroom feels chaotic and children are not achieving normalization;
- Admin question (appropriate for this group): How can I support my staff in improving this situation? What training can I offer? How can I give the teacher feedback without stressing her out? How can I talk to the parents of the 2-3 children who seem to be at the hub? Are my current school policies contributing to this somehow?
- Teacher question (not appropriate for this group): What new work should I give to the children? How should I talk to the children about their behavior? How do I manage this class? (If you have a “teacher” question, you are encouraged to ask it in the Trillium Montessori Educators group.)
Please note: it is expected that all members will already have an understanding of Montessori. This is not the forum to ask for beginner information about what Montessori is. You are invited to ask such questions in the Trillium Montessori Educators group.)
We’re all Montessorians here and we treat each other with respect. Speak kindly and with understanding. Disagreements are fine, but please approach all conversations with the attitude of seeking to learn. Many of our members turn to this group for emotional support during the inevitably difficult moments school leaders face from time to time. Please be kind and supportive. If you can’t, then please refrain from commenting.
In order for us to maintain a safe environment for members to share their experiences, all new members are required to post a brief introduction. This helps everyone know “who is in the room”. You may share as much or as little about your role as a school administrator as you wish, but you must announce your presence when you first join. Thank you!
- You may not promote your own product or service unless you have a paid advertising agreement with Trillium Montessori
- Dropping a link to any website or meme without accompanying commentary about why it is relevant to our members is not permitted. Such posts will be deleted.
- Putting fellow group members down.
- Asking people to direct message you or email you for more information. If you have information to share, please post it in the group for everyone’s benefit. You may upload relevant documents or resources into the Files section of the group.
Updated rules can be found in the “announcements” section of the group.
FEEDBACK FROM MEMBERS
This group has been an invaluable resource for connecting with other Montessori administrators. I have a small Montessori school in my home in Georgia and so it has been so valuable for me to connect with other small school owners. Everyone here has been so supportive and helpful. Just knowing I have a place to discuss everyday kinds of issues I face helps me to overcome the typical kinds of isolation I experience as a small school. Thank you, Seemi for creating this group!
-Marla Nargundkar, Tree of Life Montessori School
Whatever stage you are at in your journey to opening or running a Montessori school, the varied range of support and knowledge here makes everyone feel included and every question valid. I keep a log of comments or ideas that aren’t applicable for me yet but I’m sure will be at some point on my journey. Sometimes it raises issues I hadn’t even considered which prompts further reflection. I run a small setting from my home in England at the moment and am trying to find a new venue to expand into which can retain the same home feel with access to decent outside space. I have been able to both add tweaks and improvements to our current state and I’ve gained a lot of knowledge to take with me on our new venture when it comes about.
The “How I Started My Montessori School” group has been a wealth of information for me. Having not yet started my program yet, I have gleaned many useful tips to help me as I get close to opening. Topics both large and small, ranging from how to create a pipeline for enrolling students, best payment methods, to how to deal effectively with difficult parents and employees have been immensely helpful. I am grateful to be a part of this supportive, encouraging group and hope to be able to eventually give back to the group who has shared so much. – Jennifer H.
I found this group shortly after I started my in-home Montessori preschool and it has been the best support group one could ask for. There is a wide range of school sizes represented in this group so it is helpful for everyone! Personally, the biggest benefit I get from this group is the feeling of having co-workers! I’m the only employee at my school so I find it very useful to come here for advice.
-Jennifer Nichols, Whole Child Montessori
I am a 20 year Montessori educator, teacher trainer, field consultant, parent consultant and most recently founding director of a Montessori school in New York City. I am so thankful for the support and guidance given in this group. I love that every question garners so many helpful answers from respectful educators who really care. Thank you, Seemi, for starting this group.
I joined this group before I opened my own school. I am so glad to join this group. Everyone is so helpful, they are there to help you when you need them, which is very important when you are new in this field.
-Renu Mohan, Loudon Montessori School
This group is the proverbial shoulder to lean on in times of need. We share our hardships and our achievements and everything in between. It’s a great place to shift and sort through ideas about Montessori philosophy and Montessori Business.
-Anabel, Southern Cross Montessori
I’m in the (long and arduous) process of opening up my own school in Vancouver after years of teaching. I’m so happy to be included in this group- the sheer volume of wisdom and knowledge I can tap into is incredible and having so many brains to pick is perfect for anyone in my position. I highly recommend it for any person starting their own school, and am so grateful to Seemi Abdullah for creating it in the first place.