Juhi Varshney Montessori Graduate
“I attended the Montessori School of Rome for eight years. My MSR experience began when I was a third-year primary student in what would be Mrs. Kumar’s last class and continued until I completed seventh grade- and I loved every moment of it. Montessori’s unique teaching style creates a learning environment that encourages questions, values diversity, and enables students, and I could not be more grateful for the skills I gained here.
It seems like education today is all about numbers- about grades and standardized test scores and other forms of extrinsic motivation that seems to stifle the purest form of learning. My experience at MSR was vastly different. Our teachers were wonderful and compassionate and nurturing, and they worked with each student’s individual needs. I remember all of them encouraging me to take on new challenges and work ahead to make sure I was never bored. I got to control my own learning, and they facilitated my acceleration with so much enthusiasm and love. Whether I was hunched over at a desk or huddled around the green lesson table or sprawled beside a rug on the ground, the greatest reward for my hard work was a sense of satisfaction and pride. I looked forward to coming to class each day. I wanted to complete more Albanesi cards that day than I did the day before- write more in my morning journal, copy notes from the board more quickly and cleanly. I think there was a healthy sense of competition, but greater than that was just this drive to be the best that I could be. MSR really helped cultivate my love for learning. I wasn’t embarrassed to be smart, and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions, and I was never ashamed of wanting to learn more. I can’t overstate how far this attitude has carried me and continues to carry me today in college. Even now, I enjoy reading my chemistry textbooks and asking questions in large lecture halls and working for hours on end in preparation for a test. What a gift it has been to truly love learning.
Growing up as an Indian-American in a predominantly white town can be a daunting challenge, but I never felt that identity crisis because MSR was so open to appreciating new cultures. My Indian heritage seemed to fit so seamlessly, and I never remembering being uncomfortable with it. I studied remarkable Indian people of the past for Historical Timeline and delved into Ancient India one International Day where I wore a half-sari and ate Indian food with pride. I remember being a budding Bharatanatyam dancer and showing some of the younger classes a dance I had just learned and their warm response really solidified my appreciation and love for a sacred art that has now become irrevocably intertwined with my life. It almost baffles me to look back on my experience and remember how all cultures –not just my own- were respected and celebrated because such true cultural diversity is just so rare in our world today. We had Spanish and French lessons, dressed up like ancient Egyptians, sang Japanese songs at the Holiday Program, and even traveled to England with our class of four adolescents, a trip that I will cherish forever.
The mixed age classrooms were one of my favorite aspects of the Montessori environment. Getting to help the younger students not only reinforced concepts that I had learned before, but it taught me how to be a role model and how to be a leader. Working with the older students that I looked up to presented a constant challenge of reaching their level- one that I thoroughly enjoyed. The values of honesty, kindness, and integrity that I learned at home were reinforced each and every day in the classroom, equipping me with a high moral fiber that I uphold today. There was never any gender bias- never once did I feel lower or lesser or not enough because I was girl; this was so fundamental to my personal development that I was baffled to learn that many of my fellow female peers in college did not receive the same treatment when they were younger. The idea that teachers favor boys or that girls are conditioned to believe that they can’t achieve as much as boys can is so foreign to me based on my own personal experiences, even though it seems to be a prevalent, if tacit, notion in our society.
I am so grateful to the Montessori School of Rome and to Maria Montessori and her philosophy for creating a nurturing learning environment and constantly challenging me with rigorous academics. For helping me every single step of the way as I developed into an independent, inquisitive, hard-working, honest, accountable, responsible, compassionate Indian-American, woman, student, friend, mentor, role model, and leader. For helping me create friendships with other students and my teachers that will last a lifetime. And for enabling me to love learning, to always work my hardest, to never give up, and to always be the best version of myself.
I look back on my days at MSR fondly, and I wholeheartedly recommend it for high-achieving children of all ages and backgrounds.”
Isabella Carlton 2012 Graduate
“Montessori is the root of my education. I learned things much differently than students in traditional classes. The teacher/student interaction has helped spur my success. I learned math facts, geography, and many other things using manipulatives. I learned how to step up and not be too shy in front of crowds, and I learned how to voice my opinion without being concerned about others’ opinions of me. This has helped me succeed both in the classroom, and beyond, and for this I am grateful.”
Nancy Singh Mother of two
“We cannot thank the Montessori School enough for teaching our kids and advancing their knowledge base. Both of our kids learned how to read and write and got a lot of exposure to Science and Geography, which they would not have gotten anywhere else. Ms. Angie, Ms. Ana Maria, Ms. Ginny, and Ms. Pam are all amazing teachers and we will remember them always. We deeply appreciate all their love, compassion, and commitment to our kids.”
Lana Jones Montessori Parent
“Montessori School of Rome has been such a blessing to our family! Owen has been at MSOR for two years. When I was offered a new job in Floyd County last year, my first thought was “Who will take care of my son?” Several of my friends children went to MSOR, but my husband and I were very worried about the change. On our first visit we were welcomed with smiles and reassured that Owen would be taken care of. We could not ask for a better educational experience for our son! We love and appreciate our MSOR family!”
Suzannah Peek Former MSR student
“I attended Montessori from Primary to Upper Elementary fifth year. I have found that the skills I acquired at MSR have been extremely beneficial to me throughout high school. One of my favorite memories was working through any issues with fellow classmates on the peace rug. Now that I’m older, I realize how valuable the curriculum is at MSR. From an early age, the classroom is divided between subjects such as math, language, and practical life tasks. I am so thankful for my time at Montessori, and I will carry the memories with me forever.”
Caroline Finn 2016 Rome High School Valedictorian & Star Student
Growing up at the Montessori School of Rome shaped me into the person that I am today. At MSOR I learned the value and power of knowledge; I now love to learn, and I yearn for answers. This has set me apart from many of my peers in high school and has contributed very much to my academic success. I also learned from a very young age how to be an independent student, and this has been invaluable in my high school experience. Additionally, growing up in such a diverse environment gave me a realistic view of the world and all of the different kinds of people and cultures that fill it; this helps me to work well with all kinds of people. I am forever grateful to have been blessed with a Montessori education.
Chase Watterson Chase Watterson, parent of Tripp and Annie
“There’s no better environment for a young impressionable mind than the Montessori School of Rome. The self-guided discipline the students receive here serve them for a lifetime. My children have benefited greatly from their Montessori foundations, and when I work with these students, I benefit as well. I’m amazed by their curiosity, wonder and appetite for learning new things.
The Montessori teachings are for every child to lay the foundation of learning. In a society of dependent thinkers, the method creates independent thinkers which is invaluable to society.”
Jennie Pruitt Mother of toddler/primary student
Jase began MSR in the toddler program in Ms. Ginny and Ms. Pam’s class. The compassion, love, and patience the Montessori teachers show Jase continues to shape my parenting. Four years later, I understand the difference in the Montessori method. We have felt the compassion from teachers helping us through difficult transitions. I have listened to the patient voices assuring me that phases pass. I have received advice that seemed counterintuitive but worked so beautifully. It is so apparent through the actions of the teachers that learning is key; however, I have witnessed that fostering the love of learning is a top priority. This is the thing I love the most about Montessori. I have watched the practical, hands-on learning style of Montessori and how the “work” they do in the classroom has shaped who Jase is becoming outside of a classroom. We try to foster the same environment at home with limited screen time and access to create what his imagination can dream, still following the “let them get dirty” attitude my mother let me experience. I don’t believe this possible without the alignment Montessori allows us to have. I often find myself watching him play or amazed that he enjoys doing his homework. Montessori is Home. The cliché saying that it takes a village is true; however, now I know selecting the right village is key. Until Jase’s third year of Primary, we had thought we would move him to public school. As we watch him grow academically and socially, we realize that Montessori feels like the right village for us.
Evelyn Schlitz Evelyn Schlitz, 4th year Upper Elementary student
I love school. I love school so much because of my teachers. My teachers were very kind, friendly, careful, fun and even more things. I go to MSR (Montessori School of Rome) which is the best and I think will always be the best school I will ever go to. When I was told I was going to move, I was excited but very sad that I had to move schools. Montessori School of Rome is my second home. Even when it gets hard, I love it. I like how we can be on our own level, and we have responsibility. At our school, we are taught how to be when we grow up.
The best teachers I had were in this school. I love our principal. She is funny, and she likes us. Some of my best friends are here. Our teachers guide us through and give us lessons when we need them. No only is this place my home, it’s the place I love to be. My favorite place there is the library. I love the librarian, Ms. Carol. She lets me come a lot. I also just love being around her.
So I would love to stay at this school. Thank you, Ms. Shemi for making a small place something big.
Jessica Mauer former student
“I will always remember getting to pick the sun on my birthday and doing the birthday walk! I also remember the peace rug and working out difficulties with my classmates. This approach helped me to problem solve and build relationships. I bonded with my classmates in such a unique environment that has led to friendships which have lasted through the years. Doing the golden chain in the lobby was one of my favorite memories!”