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Yadkin Path Montessori School provides distance learning

“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadow is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning.”

— Maria Montessori

By Susan Shinn Turner
For the Salisbury Post

Just as teachers at other Rowan County schools, staff members at Yadkin Path Montessori School are providing distance learning for 42 children ages 6 weeks to second grade.

“Our staff jumped in and went with it,” says Director Myra Tannehill. “We had parents who were terrified to be home with children and set up workspaces. But we’re right alongside parents helping them.”

The Montessori classroom is child-led or child-centered, filled with items to interest children and let them work at their own pace. Items are placed in baskets on shelves and parents are encouraged to take “shelfies” of children at work, Tannehill says. Examples might include boxes that children can open and close, wooden shape sorters, fossils and other items in boxes, stacking or nesting bowls, simple puzzles, and so much more.

“It’s hands-on learning for children,” Tannehill says.

Montessori model places a strong emphasis on children being independent in the learning environment. Dr. Maria Montessori, Tannehill explains, was a psychiatrist who observed children and took notes.

“It’s absolutely amazing on a daily basis” to see children in this independent environment, Tannehill says. “It’s jaw-dropping, stunning, beautiful.”

Tannehill’s instructors include Kathleen York, infant environment; Sarah Grimm, Katelyn Boggs, and Sydney Foard, assistant, toddler community; Dana Wood and Elaine McEvoy, primary.

“It’s going amazingly well,” says Rachel Gotta, who is mom to Jackson, 1½.

The children have a Zoom meeting twice a week for circle time, once a week with their teacher to reconnect, and parents and teachers meet weekly via Zoom.

“They have gone above and beyond,” Gotta says. “I’m definitely impressed.”

Gotta receives a daily email from Jackson’s teacher full of tips, great activities, and recipes.

“I can’t say enough about how amazing the program is,” Gotta says. “Jackson is thriving with this distance learning thing.”

“This response from our teachers to completely recreate themselves to help through this is amazing,” Tannehill says. “The parents who are jumping in are rocking this. It’s inspiring to see.”

Next week, the facility, located at 2135 Bringle Ferry Road, will offer care for essential workforce children. Call 704-642-2211 for details.

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