As a parent of two kids attending a Montessori school in Arlington, VA, I am deeply worried by the proposed budget that removes all teaching assistants from Montessori Elementary Schools.
The Montessori method requires the presence of skilled teachers. You can’t make education more efficient by reducing personnel. Especially in Montessori, there is no room for economies of scale. The thing about Montessori is that it has to be done very well to be effective, you can’t do it halfway. And when it is done well, the results are amazing.
We are from Barcelona, in Europe. We care for our schools. We sent our kids to the best schools we could find in Barcelona, we spend ages choosing the right school. We are proud of our school in Barcelona. But boy, we found nothing comparable to the Montessori school we found here in Arlington. Our kids, now, are just craving for learning. They don’t want to watch videos or play video games, they want to paint with Metal Inset and write stories.
We are living difficult times, tensions and conflicts. Our society is becoming more and more divided. We can wonder about the big theories of inequality, but the fact is that the main factor explaining inequality is education. You have a great, world-class education here, with the Montessori school. This is a gift, a privilege. You should protect it in any possible way.
And by the way, we didn’t expect this. We thought education was going to be a problem here, that good schools in the US were only for millionaires. Yet, admittedly with some sacrifice, we could afford the best school we ever found.
So, I want to conclude with one word: thanks. To Arlington County, to our school, to our teachers. Thanks for giving this opportunity to our kids. I hope that I will be in a position to continue thanking you in the future.