Welcome to The Montessori Children's House of Hyde Park
A Message from Ms. Amanda - Head of School
Thank you for your interest in The Montessori Children’s House of Hyde Park.
When I was 18, I read a book called "Education for a New World" by Dr. Maria Montessori. It was my mothers idea to spark an interest in the Montessori Method.
Reading that book changed my life and the direction I was heading. I had intended to work with small animals, maybe become a veterinarian. Now I was thinking of working with small children! In my training to be a Montessori teacher, I was struck with this overwhelming reverence for the young child, and what those small children could teach me. The Montessori training challenges you to look inside of yourself, question yourself and your assumptions. I was taught how to really observe the child and how to help each individual child as he/she really is.
When I was trained for the 3-6 year old group, I recall how I was shown how to have painstakingly precise movements with the materials. I remember thinking that this would never work - no child is ever going to sit and wait while I spoon beans, spoon by spoon. How wrong I was! The young children I worked with were enthralled and enraptured by my movements. I found that, as an adult, I need to have faith in the child. Everyday, I continue to keep that in my mind.
The wonderful variety of materials and mixed age groups invigorate me. Watching the child progress through the three year cycle is satisfying for the child and the directress. Such a strong bond develops between the two - it's still difficult to see children leave Montessori before the end of that cycle.
Later I trained for the 6-12 year old group. This time I marveled about the materials that Maria Montessori made for the elementary. She had studied the older children, and using the information she gained through observation, created materials to motivate and challenge them. It opened my eyes to the world of endless knowledge that a Directress can impart and explore with the older child. When I first started working with this older age group in London, I was amazed at how many questions they asked. This was very different from my work with the 3-6 year olds - the child is different, and so the Directress should be different, too. They would ask questions like, Who made the first windows? and Why does the moon stay up there? This created the opportunity for research, discussion and report writing in the classroom. The children were also allowed the freedom to explore their interests and find answers to their own questions.
I have worked in Montessori schools in Ireland, Canada, England and in the United States. It does take a special type of person to be trained in the Montessori Method of education - it is not a typical teacher training program. The Association Montessori Internationale is now 75 years old and nearly 100 years since Maria started her first Casa de Bambini (Children's House). It's an approach that still reaches the Universal Child today!
I had always dreamed of having my own school, and in April of 1996, that dream came true. We opened our first 3-6 class with 28 children and a waiting list. With interest in our school increasing over the years, we continued to expand. I feel incredibly fortunate to have achieved my dream, and to have accomplished so much more! I feel privileged that over the last 20+ years, we have become a leading Montessori school in Florida and made a positive difference in the lives of so many children.
Creating the Montessori Children's House of Hyde Park was a way I could bring my own experiences, training and ideals to make a very special place for our students and our staff. I have spent half of my life working in the Montessori Method of education. The energy and love of learning that I see in all of the children and staff never ceases to amaze me. We have created an environment that children want to be a part of and where they enjoy their learning experience!
Amanda Linton-Evans, Head of School