Charles Ellis Teacher Training

The Montessori method of education, pioneered by Maria Montessori, emphasizes hands-on learning, self-directed studies, lessons tailored to each individual student, and a strong sense of responsibility for oneself and one’s community. Students work independently, learn at their own pace, and take responsibility for their work. The method, which focuses on a child’s natural developmental stages, was originally designed to serve students with special needs, and it has proven to be effective in teaching diverse groups of students.

The largest provider of Montessori education in Savannah, GA is Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, a public K-8 magnet school serving 560 students, with attendance determined by lottery. Until MESS’ formation in 2012, the Savannah Chatham County Public School System had been unable to provide specialized Montessori certification to Charles Ellis teachers for some time due to limited budgets. Therefore our first goal was to provide this training, in order to maintain this existing Montessori school.

For our first four years of operation, our main activity has been and continues to be sponsoring a Montessori teacher certification program in Savannah, GA. With our financial support, the Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) entered into a contract with the Seacoast Center for Montessori Education, an independent training organization that is providing the training to Charles Ellis teachers. The teachers began their training with the 40-hour Early Childhood Overview in June, 2013, followed by the beginning of their Elementary 1 Certification Course in July 2014. The training of the first cohort of teachers is now almost complete. We hope to start a second cohort soon, this time focusing on Primary teachers (PK/K) and Erdkinder teachers (7th/8th).

We are incredibly grateful for the support of SCCPSS, which provided $45,000 towards the cost of the training (roughly $110,000 total cost.) And we stand in awe of the Charles Ellis Montessori teachers who have voluntarily given up weeks of their summer vacations, plus afternoons and weekends during the school year, without compensation, in order to hone their craft and become the best teachers to our children that they can be. Thank you.

Once the first group of Charles Ellis teachers is fully certified in elementary Montessori education, we hope to continue the operation of the Montessori Certification training program, making it available to interested teachers throughout the region, including teachers at our local Montessori pre-schools, Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School, and Ellis’ new hires and middle school teachers. We will also then turn our focus more fully towards promoting Montessori educational methods, principles, and values throughout the Savannah area.

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