The Montessori Philosophy
The Montessori approach to education is grounded in the belief that children have a dynamic inner desire to explore and learn about their environment. In the words of Maria Montessori,"Education is not something which the teacher does, but is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but by virtue of experience in which the child acts on his environment... We must offer the child the help he needs, and be at his service so that he does not have to walk alone." Montessori believed that all children have within themselves the power to achieve their full potential. Given the proper measure of guidance and freedom, the children's inner spirit enables them to focus on what they need to know. Children then learn with wonder, confidence, and joy ("joyful, happy" is the root meaning of the Italian word allegro, the name of our school).
An Environment for Learning
An important part of Montessori's approach is an orderly and pleasant environment. This environment includes learning materials designed to meet the particular developmental needs of each child. Ideally, it also includes easy access to their outdoor surroundings and the world of nature. Children are encouraged to explore the activities that interest them most, and to experience the deep inner sastisfaction of having achieved what they set out to do.
Each child is given guidance according to his or her needs and personal capability, allowing for indivudually paced development in a non-competitive atmosphere. The grouping of mixed ages in one classroom permits cooperative interaction and mutual assistance among the younger and older children.
Maria Montessori (1870 - 1952)
Montessori education began a hundred years ago with the work of Maria Montessori (1870-1952), Italy 's first female physician and one of the great educators of the past century. Her detailed observation of a group of children committed to her care led her to design unique learning materials, to train others in her teaching methods, and then to open schools, first in Italy and then in numerous other countries. During the war years, Montessori's educational approach was known as the movement for peace, for she saw the child as the hope for a new world. By the time of her death, Maria Montessori's philosophy of education had become influential internationally, and schools under her name had been established around the world.
Allegro Montessori School was founded by four
Allegro Montessori moved to John Lake School , and the student enrollment rose to twenty-six. In 1989, Allegro Montessori began a full-day program for the preschool level, some thirty-five children aged three to eleven formed the student body, and the staff doubled in number to four. In 1991, Allegro Montessori opened a second preschool classroom, the enrollment rose to sixty students, and the staff increased to six.
By December 1995, office staff had been hired and enrollment stood close to 90 students with 10 staff members. At this time the Separate School Board graciously offered us the use of St. Patrick's school. During the 5 1/2 years there the school continued to thrive and grow, until September 2000, when Allegro Montessori moved to Spadina Crescent. This downtown location, while easily accessible, was not ideal so we moved to 2410 Haultain and for the next 5 years we grew in numbers and enjoyed 5 exciting years of learning.
In June of 2007 our lease expired but the Public School Board has accommodated us at 4215 Degeer Street in the East College Park area. The staff here has been so welcoming, the classrooms bright and spacious and the gym and playground well equipped. We look forward to many years in this location.
The Montessori approach to education is grounded in the belief that children have a dynamic inner desire to explore and learn about their environment.
The Classroom Director
An adult well trained in Montessori philosophy and teaching methods is the key link between the child and the environment. In Montessori classroom, the term director is used to describe the role of the guiding adult. The director, specially trained in observation of child development assesses when to offer a new challenge to the child and demonstrates the use of materials. The director assists the child's progress with attentive care, fostering a positive, loving atmosphere for the child.
Head of School
Liz has her B. Ed in English and Theatre from the University of Saskatchewan and her Montessori Lower Elementary training from North American Montessori Association. She has been associated with Allegro Montessori School for over 20 years now. She found and fell in love with the Montessori way of teaching when she began as a Casa and Elementary Aide and Office Assistant. Over the course of her life Liz has worked cleaning toilets, teaching, waitressing, managing restaurants and dinner theatres and much more. She is currently in her dream job of choice as Head of School for Allegro and is looking forward to watching this school grow in its devotion to the Montessori Philosophy of Education.
Gayle moved to the Saskatoon area when she was fourteen and graduated high school in Martensville. Gayle has worked in many areas of fast food, retail and management. In 2000 she went back and got a degree as a medical office assistant and has worked in several doctor offices. She moved back to Saskatoon almost three years ago and started subbing in the office here at Allegro and is now working as the full time office manager. Her best part of the day is watching the children come running into the school with their faces full of smiles. Gayle is still learning more about the Montessori way, but loves how the children and directors embrace it.
Lower Elementary Director
Lynn has been working with Allegro Montessori School since the 2006/07 school year. She started out teaching our French program and moved to Elementary Director in the 2009-10 school year. Lynn’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English and History and a Bachelor of Elementary Education, (with distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan, as well as MACTE accredited Montessori Elementary I and II diplomas from Montessori Live Teacher Training Centre. She has just completed her Masters of Arts in Montessori Leadership with Sarasota University in Florida.
Outside of School Lynn enjoys outdoor adventure activities as a 21 year member of Scouts Canada, as well as member of a family of avid backwoods campers and white-water canoeists.
Casa #1 Director
Margaret has her Bachelor of Education Degree with a major in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alberta. In 1986 she received her Montessori Diploma for teaching the Casa level from the St. Nicholas Training Centre. She has worked with young children for many years and joined the Allegro staff as a Casa Director in 1991.
Casa #2 Director
Mona received her Bachelor of Education at the University of Saskatchewan in 1987. After working several years as a Montessori assistant under the mentorship of Margaret Hurst, she completed the North American Montessori Teaching Diploma for Casa in 2002. Mona has been with Allegro since the 2001/02 school year.
Casa #3 Director
Carrie has been directing at Allegro Montessori since 2008. In 2005, she received her Montessori Diploma from the Angela Martin Montessori Training Centre in Victoria BC. She proceeded to work as a Casa director for six years at Westmont Montessori in British Columbia until she moved to Saskatoon to become a director of one of our casa environments. She loves working with children, watching them grow and become independent.
After working as an assistant to Patty Soltys in Allegro’s Toddler Environment for six years, Jill became the Toddler Director in the 2014/15 school year. She completed Montessori Infant and Toddler training with the North American Montessori Centre in 2012 and valued her experience working under Patti. Jill loves working with children and is looking forward to meeting her new students each year.
Music and French Specialist
Claire studied music and humanities at the University of Saskatchewan from 2000-2005. She became a member of the Canadian Armed Forces in 2001, performing the changing of the guard ceremonies in Ottawa. In 2008 she moved to St John’s to complete the remaining courses of a performance degree in music. She has taught English abroad and travelled performing trumpet for Norwegian cruise lines.
Lower Elementary Director
Diane was born in Kenora, Ontario and grew up all across Canada, before moving permanently to the Saskatoon are in 1986. She studied at the University of Saskatchewan and obtained a Bachelor of Education in 1992 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1994. Diane joined the Elementary learning environment in 2011 and this will be her first year as co-director with Lynn Eremondi. Diane has just completed her MACTE accreditation for Elementary I and II through Montessori Live Teacher Training Centre. She has also just completed her Master’s degree in Montessori Education from Sarasota University in Florida.
Physical Education Specialist
Tina holds a B.Ed. (Great Distinction) with specializations in Native Studies and Drama from the U of S. She also studied contemporary dance and choreography at Concordia University in Montreal and has been involved in Montessori and Waldorf education in Saskatoon, Edmonton and Thunder Bay. She has developed a unique approach to teaching creative movement which she has been using at Allegro since 2012.
Casa #1 Director
Fatima was born and grew up in Pakistan. She graduated from the University of Karachik, with a major in education and received her Casa training from AMI Pakistan. She has taught in different Montessori schools for over thirteen year including working as the Montessori Head of School for Casa and Lower Elementary at the Stanmore Public School in Pakistan. She has been working with Allegro since February 2013 and is starting her first year as a Casa Director with the 2015/16 year.
Casa #2 Director
Jessica graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in the spring of 2015 with her Bachelor of Education. She is excited to experience and share the Montessori Method in the classroom setting and hopes to work towards one day being a director. In her spare time Jessica enjoys politics and drama.
Casa #3 Aide
Maya joined the Allegro Montessori family in 2012 and has enjoyed her time here thoroughly. She began her passion for education at a young age. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in History and Master’s Degree in Sociology from Tribhuvan University. She worked as a teacher in the Learning Realm International School in Kathmandu prior to moving to the United States.
Taking the time out to raise her own children full time greatly influenced her love for and commitment to early childhood education. She also enjoys gardening, cooking and reading in the sunshine as well as spending quality time with her family.
Toddler Aide and Office Aide
Heather has been involved with Allegro for many years, first as a parent, followed by subbing, then as a staff member in the Toddler Program, since 2010. She finds that each day with toddlers can be an interesting experience as the children discover something new or they finally master a challenging skill.
When Heather finds some spare time, you will likely find her in the Great Outdoors or travelling somewhere.
Allegro In Between and Extra Care Aide
Venus started with Allegro as a substitute in the 2014/15 school year. She has subbed in all corners of our school but has settled into working full time in our Allegro- In-Between and Extra Care program. In her spare time she enjoys camping, playing badminton and baking for her family.
2015/16 will be Carley’s first year with Allegro and she will be working as our Allegro-In-Between Coordinator. Carley has her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan and has worked or volunteered with children throughout her adult life. Her passion is traveling and she has recently returned from teaching in Morocco.
Allegro In Between and Extra Care Aide
Anna has been with Allegro since the 2012/13 school year. During her time with us she has been an aide in both the Casa and the Allegro- In-Between environments. She has also been one of our afternoon extra care coordinators during this time. Anna is also an artist/designer and musician in her spare time.