“The teachers care about them and help them to succeed by setting them up for success, not failure.“
After shadowing the first high school, the first thing my two 8th graders said is that they do not want to leave GSCM. They love it here. They feel challenged and safe and loved. They feel like the teachers care about them and help them to succeed by setting them up for success, not failure.
They got into and received academic scholarships at every school where they applied. Many 8th graders choose to go to a school where their friends are going or where there are good sports teams. My children want to go to a school where the teachers will care about them and care about whether or not they succeed. They are looking for an extension of GSCM.
At GSCM the staff truly cares about each student. They treat them with kindness and respect and teach them natural consequences. In turn, the students respect the teachers.
Obviously for us, money is a big consideration. When we talked about some of the schools and how we would pay for them, one of the things that came up was taking their younger siblings out of GSCM and using that money towards high school. My children flat out said “no” to that. They don’t want their siblings to miss out on what they had experienced. It is more important to them that their siblings get to go to GSCM then for them to go to one of these private schools. That speaks volumes for the love and respect they have for GSCM.
“I am ever grateful for our school and the outstanding young men and women that are formed through your dedicated and loving care.”
I would like to share with you a recent example of the application of the wonderful skills B has learned at GSCM. As an assignment for Boy Scouts, B had to teach a lesson to fellow Scouts on first aid using the EDGE method. EDGE stands for Explain, Demonstrate, Guide and Enable. For each of these steps, B had to keep a group of boys engaged and attentive.
To prepare, he drew on his experience with the key word outline method and conducted research using several sources, an approach he has been learning for many years. Because of his preparation, he was confident and in control during the session. Beyond that, he was kind, patient and respectful. He frequently thanked his audience for participating and made sure every boy had an opportunity to answer questions and be interactive.
There were several experienced Scout leaders and parents in the room. A few made a point of telling B what an excellent job he did and how impressed they were with his skills. The Scout Master commented to me that it was one of the better EDGE sessions he has seen (and he has seen many!) And by the way, this was the first EDGE session B has ever done.
I give these comments as an illustration of the Montessori method in general, and more specifically the beautiful whole-child, God-centered education that GSCM provides to all of our children. I am ever grateful for our school and the outstanding young men and women (and they truly do stand out from many of their peers) that are formed through your dedicated and loving care.
“I just don’t believe you would see that kind of camaraderie among different age students at another school.”
I was very impressed recently when I had the opportunity to interview the 8th grade class and was told by several of them that “there aren’t really cliques at GSCM.” They explained that the kids here play across grade lines which they don’t think happens at other schools. Well, that sounded wonderful and yesterday I saw it in action.
I was after school with my Destination Imagination team and we went outside for some fresh air. Playing in the field were a group that consisted of an 8th grade boy, several 5th and 6th grade girls, a 5th grade boy, a 3rd grade boy and girl, and I added four 1st and 2nd graders to the mix. They all played together beautifully. None complained when my 1st and 2nd graders joined in – better yet, all the older kids included and were gentle with the younger ones. I just don’t believe you would see that kind of camaraderie among different age students at another school. I am so happy that my kids get to learn at a place where everyone is so accepting of everyone else.
“We have seen him grow tremendously.”
J, our oldest, turned 13 this year, so the teen years are officially upon us. Last winter, he played the sultan in his school’s rendition of “Aladdin.” He has enjoyed drama for several years now and is gaining some skill in the comedic supporting role. In the spring, he went on a junior high civil rights bus trip. They toured important historical sites in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia that were significant in the 20th century civil rights movement. J said he learned a lot, had fun, and enjoyed spending time with friends. This fall, he attended his second middle school high adventure trip complete with white water rafting, zip lining, and swimming. One of the nice things about his junior high (7th & 8th grade) is that it is small enough to have a strong sense of community, and these schools trips help to solidify that. We have seen him grow tremendously in that environment, and we are very grateful. Also, this fall, he participated in set design for a Noah’s Ark play put on by the younger grades, providing another outlet for his creative juices.
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