• Our Leadership Team

    Head of School Shannon Blackwell is on a mission to nurture Montessori advocates in every community. She has been working in a Montessori environment as an administrator since 2013 after first discovering the pedagogy as a parent, and eventually serving as Head of School. Shannon attended the University of North Texas and is a Certified Public Communicator in partnership with the Department of Strategic Communication at Texas Christian University. She enjoys opportunities to present to community organizers and school administrators on the importance of school culture and community in creating sustainable educational organizations. Shannon and her husband have a son and two daughters who have attended Montessori schools since they were toddlers. She enjoys working with nonprofit organizations and traveling.



  • What is Montessori?

    The Montessori method of education originated 100 years ago with an Italian physician named Maria Montessori. Dr. Montessori’s lifelong study of child development convinced her that children are innately intelligent, have a strong desire for order, and a natural love of learning.

    Today’s authentic Montessori schools are child-centered and enable self-directed learning using manipulative learning materials. Students make discoveries about abstract concepts by working with three-dimensional materials that appeal to them.

    Multi-age classes are another distinguishing characteristic; for example, children ages 3-6; 6-9; and 9-12 years old typically are grouped together for three-year cycles.  Classroom teachers, called “guides”, receive special training and certification as Montessori educators.

    Montessori students are often recognized for their respect for self, for others and for the environment around them, as these and other universal human values are emphasized in the classroom. Students learn to independently manage their time and develop a focused, self-motivated work ethic.

    Montessori schools are found worldwide today.  In the United States, there are approximately 4,000 private Montessori schools. Additionally, there are several hundred public schools centered on the Montessori method.

  • Recognition with Association Montessori Internationale

    Pebblecreek Montessori is Recognized (Provisional) for ages 0-6+, Associated (Provisional) for ages 6-12 through the Association Montessori Internationale, the organization that Maria Montessori founded in 1929. 

    Standards From AMIUSA.org:
    AMI pedagogical standards maintain the level of excellence that Maria Montessori envisioned. Established by the AMI Scientific Pedagogy Group, the standards insure that each school offers programs for their children that allow for their full intellectual, social, and psychological growth and that the approach is consistent with what is presented in AMI training courses worldwide.

    The Teacher
    There will be one AMI teacher trained at the appropriate age level in each class.

    “We must support as much as possible the child’s desires for activity; not wait on him, but educate him to be independent. It is necessary for the teacher to guide the child without letting him feel her presence too much, so that she may always be ready to supply the desired help, but may never be the obstacle between the child and his experience.”
    ~ Dr. Maria Montessori

    Each primary and elementary class may have one non-teaching assistant. The classroom assistant should support the teacher by making materials, noting observations, supervising outdoor activities, and assisting with “going-outs.” For assistants to infancy classes, the adult to child ratio should be 1 to 5.

    The Materials
    In order to ensure a prepared environment that is consistent with AMI standards, each Montessori classroom must be equipped with a complete set of Montessori materials. These materials should be purchased from an AMI authorized manufacturer. A “complete” set of Montessori materials is all materials needed by AMI trained lead teachers to present the lessons in their albums in the way that their training intended.

    “The fundamental fact in the preparation of the environment is to have only one set of each type of material. When there is only one specimen of each object, and if a piece is in use when another child wants it, the latter will wait for it to be released. Since this happens every hour of the day for years, the idea of respecting others, and of waiting one’s turn, becomes a habitual part of life which always grows more mature.”
    ~ Dr. Maria Montessori

    Materials beyond the scope of the AMI lead teacher’s training may be considered extraneous with a requirement for them to be removed.


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