Meet Tamara: One of FCMA’s Parents

We love to partner with our parents for the success of our students. They play such an active and important role in their children’s education.

Meet Tamara, mom to Greta, Harrison and Andrew, who are students at Four Corners Montessori Academy.

  1. What are your favorite things about FCMA?

I like the multi-grade classes. This unintentionally builds in a leader/mentor role for the older students to the younger students.  The students ideally stay with the same teachers for a longer amount of time. Having students in the same classroom with the same teachers also allows teachers to learn their students and their learning styles better.

FCMA offers a very unique middle school program. I’m a big fan of their internship program, fundraising element and independent class field trips with no parent chaperones.  The middle school focuses on building the independent student who can advocate for peers, work together and gain a sense of individuality, all while being in an open-minded community.

I love the hands-on learning and independent work plan.  Whether it’s math beads or practical life skills, I love that my kids got to experience school with a very hands-on, tactile approach.  My kids also benefited from being challenged beyond their grade level and the teachers were supportive along the way. I’m not sure they would have received this at a conventional school.  One of my kids also benefited from support when he was at the lower end of the grade level curriculum. And going back to the mixed class aspect, whether my kids needed the support or could offer it, having students in your class you can ask for help with math or reading made it a more collaborative setting.  I feel the kids learned about supporting each other in a real-world setting.

I have also enjoyed being part of The Parent Guild. It is a great way to be involved with events that build the FCMA community beyond the classroom.  You become a part of the school in a bigger sense. You develop friendships outside the classrooms, not only because the kids are all friends, but because these parents might be friends you never knew you needed.  These relationships become your hive or tribe that you can lean on in smooth and rough times.

  1. What do you believe are the top things that your child(ren) are learning from a Montessori education?

I think that Montessori provides an education that helps to understand that each kid is different and that being different brings a unique perspective.  They understand some kids learn faster or need a little nudge. They support each other, no matter the grade level. It’s not 4th grade vs. 5th grade. It’s everyone is a part of the FCMA community.

I think my kids grew up with the sense that they can speak up for themselves.  They might not always do it, but at FCMA they are encouraged to share ideas or bring up their concerns.  This makes teenage years a little less daunting because they recognize they need to be their own voice when it comes to issues with a coach, a test grade or extra subject help.

I think my kids have tools to problem solve.  Being around students with different ideas, they develop a self-awareness that they can find a solution to issues that may come up.  

I’m not saying my kids are these ideal people, but at least they have a sense that they can be.

  1. What type of environment is created at FCMA to make you want to have your children there?

I really love the overall peaceful atmosphere.  Even walking the hallways, there’s a sense of calm.  I like the respectful nature from the top level down.  The teachers and staff bring a welcoming sense to the building and respectfully listen to their students.  It’s not– “I’m the teacher and that’s why you need to listen to me” environment.