Spreading the transformative power of Montessori is a necessary piece of bringing about enduring, widespread change in education. Guidepost's mission is to implement a platform that enables any school to pursue a path to become a quality Montessori school, with high standards for excellence.
Bringing Montessori to the mainstream isn't easy. It means making the Montessori approach irresistible to communities who may never have heard of it before. There is a need to reveal this complex, nuanced, beautiful method to the world in a way that is clear, compelling, and accessible.
The core values of Guidepost reaffirm our aim to create thriving school communities. This journey requires curiosity and ambition, recognition of the nature of the children in our charge, and traveling together as a team. The five cardinal values that serve as our own guideposts are:
Montessori is a deep, sophisticated theory. But if it had to be boiled it down to just one key point, it would be to foster independence.
Maria Montessori’s key insight was that childhood is a constant, healthy drive towards independence — and the only way to gain independence is to practice it.
The journey is the child’s to make, and only he can choose to make it. We must give him the tools to learn, explore, experiment, and self-correct (the “guideposts” to follow), and then get out of his way.
Whenever a hard problem comes up — whether it’s an exceptional student, or a difficult classroom dynamic — our approach is to solve it with thoughtful collaboration.
Guidepost schools are hubs of creativity and intelligence; the most valuable resources at any Guidepost campus are the minds and character of its staff.
We have enormous confidence in our staff to play an irreplaceable part in this great work. And we have confidence that as a team, we'll achieve more than the sum of our parts.
There can be no compromise in an educator's devotion to what's best for each child under her care. Above all, this requires the recognition that the most important people in a child's life are his parents.
Whatever role we can play in a child’s life — and we believe as educators we can play a critical role, otherwise we wouldn’t be here — there’s no more valuable lever for educating a child than forging a meaningful partnership with that child’s parents. It is only with the parents' wholehearted help and involvement that we can accomplish our mission.
Just as we're responsible for fostering a child’s growth, happiness, and success, we’re similarly responsible for fostering and renewing these things in ourselves.
Be generous with yourself, and on the lookout for ways to gain energy from and take pride in your work. Be forgiving of yourself when you make mistakes, and supportive of yourself when you feel unsteady or insecure.
In so doing, you'll not only tend to your own well-being; you'll also become a role model of adult independence and self-management for the children at Guidepost.
Sometimes we need to go the extra mile to pitch in for an event, or put together a plan to tackle a thorny student issue. Our vision is not just a dream; it's a goal that demands work — and work that is often hard in ways that we don’t expect.
Be a practical idealist. Have not only the vision, but also the drive to do all the things that go into making that vision a reality. Commit to responding to the unexpected, to adapting to facts on the ground, and to actively creating the place we want to work and live in: a community that nourishes each of its students, staff, and parents.