Diligent Hands Abike Montessori Academy: Emphasizing Student-Centered Learning
Diligent Hands Abike Montessori Academy
Diligent Hands Abike Montessori Academy

Children have an insatiable curiosity and frequently investigate their immediate environment. Such children will joyfully interact with their surroundings and instinctively pick up new abilities. Having a safe space for them to undertake their exploration might help prevent a child from accidents that could otherwise be avoided at home or in the backyard because children aren’t fully able to notice potential dangers around them.

Hence, a childcare facility in the neighbourhood can be a great solution for parents looking for a secure environment where their children can also pick up new skills and be ready for the forthcoming school year.

While playing independently with other children of their own age, well-trained staff and personnel make sure that kids get the care and environment they require.

At Diligent Hands Abike Montessori Academy, 75 percent of its staff are internationally trained Montessori teachers, while the other 25 percent received in-house training in the Montessori Method and principles of instruction.

Diligent Hands Abike Montessori Academy is a Montessori preschool/elementary school that serves the needs of children ages six months through twelve years.

The academy was founded by Abike Diekola Joseph on September 2, 2016. It is an international academy with children coming from several countries and diverse cultures, including South Africa, New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada, India, Ireland, England, Haiti, St Kitts and several other Caribbean islands.

The mission statement of the academy is ‘We are raising children who would reign in their generation.’ The school provides a platform for nurturing and empowering in an environment that contributes positively to their academic, social, and emotional development. This inspires young children to become lifelong learners that can contribute positively to their communities.

Learning with Love 

Eighty percent of Diligent Hands Abike Montessori Academy student population were children whose parents were working in tourism, the hotel industry, or university administrators and students.

The school has grown both experientially and numerically, even as it applies the ‘love first’ approach to communicating the message that nothing is impossible if one believes. The school understands that when children feel loved and respected, they are better able to grasp concepts than if they are forcefully made to memorize them.

The school’s LOVE FIRST approach to learning allows its students to develop confidence in themselves and their teachers and causes them to be more receptive to whatever is being communicated.

It embraces the uniqueness of every student’s learning style, interest, and abilities and offers a personalized learning approach that meets that student’s individual needs. Its curriculum is designed to be both challenging and engaging, with a focus on hands-on learning and critical thinking.

Succeeding in a Globalized Society

The cross-curriculum teaching method of instruction is based on the Maria Montessori Method of imparting multiple academic disciplines during each lesson.

Its materials are self-correcting and allow the child to develop self-confidence, positive self-esteem, and mastery as they repeatedly work with the materials. Further, as the child repeatedly works with their hands, they are unconsciously developing a relationship between the hand and the brain as well as eye-hand coordination. The understanding gained is more concrete and helps in the development of the whole child.

Complying with Different Learning Styles 

Diligent Hands Abike Montessori Academy follows the Montessori Method, which emphasizes student-centered learning and individual instruction. The school believes that each student has their own learning style and pace, and the curriculum is designed to meet the needs of each student.

The school’s approach to education is hands-on and experiential, with a focus on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It encourages its students to take an active role in their learning and to explore their interests and passions.

The quality of education provided by the school is ensured through regular evaluation of its curriculum and teaching methods. The school uses a range of assessment tools, including teacher observation, projects that require parental involvement, public speaking exercises, and quarterly written assessments to track its students’ progress and identify areas where they may need additional support.

Making Creative Adjustments 

The biggest challenge for the school has been the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to its hands-on method of instruction, the school was forced to make creative adjustments for online classes. During that period, many of its international students were forced to travel home, and some never returned.

Another challenge the school faced was convincing parents to make a shift from the deeply rooted traditional system of learning to the Montessori method of instruction. The Montessori method, though not new, is not fully understood and embraced. However, through advertising, marketing, and the use of social media, the school has been able to bring a clearer understanding of the benefits of a Montessori education.

All-Inclusive Curriculum 

Diligent Hands Abike Montessori Academy has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It has a diverse student body and strives to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all its students regardless of their race, ethnicity, physical/natural growth and development, gender, religious preferences, political persuasions, or socio-economic backgrounds. The school respects and celebrates such diversity, as reflected in its all-inclusive curriculum.

The school also has policies and procedures in place to address any instance of discrimination or harassment and provides training to its staff on how to create and maintain an inclusive and equitable environment for all students.

Maintaining a Two-Way Communication 

The academy’s in-house counseling services mainly prepare the students to deal with conflict resolution and issues of bullying. The school has a ‘Peace Place’ (prepared area within the school environment, supervised by a teacher) where all disagreements are addressed in a civil and respectful manner.

It also has a close working relationship with officials of the local Spectrum Centre, who conduct regular visits to observe and report on children who are late learners and those with speech delays.

Innovative Teaching Methodologies 

STEM-based learning is the pulse of the Montessori Method of instruction. It has been integrated into the learning process through cross-curriculum lessons that involve, e.g., the use of 21st century technology and how it can be linked with the mathematical calculations of early civilization in predicting weather patterns and utilizing mechanical and other resources to plan for changes in the climate.

This is one of several ways of STEM-based integration in the Montessori learning environment. Legos are also used as engineering tools in the building of toy robots, vehicles, spaceships, buildings, and parks.

Most of the extracurricular activities of the school are prearranged and are a part of its yearly calendar of events. These include art, poetry, field trips, public speaking, drama, culture day activities, camps, and career day. Parents are included in all these activities, as their support in preparing their child is important for success.

Diligent Hands Abike Montessori Academy has an awesome responsibility to be role models for the next generation. The school feels honored to be a part of the early educational development. Its ‘love first’ approach is the key to success and is demonstrated in all areas of service to its students and clients.

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