Learn About Our Mission, Vision & Team
Mission & Vision
Peaceful Child Montessori Academy - Supporting the planes of development through prepared environment, mentorship and individuality.
Peaceful PCMA provides a nurturing environment that promotes the child’s connection to his world. The peaceful aesthetics promote engagement. Self correcting materials promote auto-education and foster cognitive thinking. Everything in the classroom is thoughtfully designed to allow the children to work and learn independently.
Child Children are well prepared for the world surrounding them. The children that enter public schools are often advanced and well equipped to embrace new experiences and meet new peers while continuing to exercise their independence and sense of self.
Montessori The Montessori method is based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s study of the natural development of young children. Multi-Aged groupings foster peer modeling and mentoring and allow the children to create a peaceful learning community in which the older children develop leadership skills, while the younger children learn readily from their peers.
Academy The PCMA academic programs serve to provide children ages 3-6 with individual and small group lessons. Students have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and in keeping with their natural developmental plane. This removes any sense of competition and fosters confidence as your child moves from one skill to the next.
PCMA Montessori Benefits
- Individuality is encouraged and well developed. No two children are the same and we acknowledge that no two children learn the same way. PCMA students are treated as individuals and taught and encouraged at their level. Pressure is removed and understanding is put in its place. Fostering a love of learning for the children is something that will change the landscape of their life.
- Responsibility and order are established early on. Montessori students are taught to embrace order, coordination, concentration, and independence. The PCMA classroom design, materials, and daily routines support the individual’s emerging “self-regulation”. This prepares them from the very start for the real world. Life based skills are so important and necessary. This will also teach them healthy boundaries in their lives.
- Community. Students of PCMA become a part of a caring community, environment and family. The multi-age classroom—typically spanning 3 years—re-creates a family structure. Older students love the younger students. This teaches mentorship and multi age connection. They each learn from one another as do our teachers from each of them. Teachers model respect, loving kindness, and a belief in peaceful conflict resolution.
- Free thinking and free will are promoted. This of course is promoted within healthy limits. Rules are established and communicated clearly by the teachers. Students are not seen as subordinates rather they are seen as active participants in deciding what the specific focus of learning will be. Montessorians have seen that igniting a child’s inner satisfaction feeds their curiosity and interest. This makes for sustainable love of learning throughout their life.
- Knowledge Seekers. The classroom is set up with intention, this intention provides a learning environment that is interesting, thought provoking and nurtures free thinking, creating an environment that encourages them to seek answers to their questions.
- Self Awareness. Often times students have a mature understanding and correct themselves, recognize that something isn’t quite as it should be and they learn quickly from error.
The PCMA Team
Our caring, certified team are committed to serving children and helping them along in their development. We strive to be professional and compassionate and see our time at Peaceful Child Montessori Academy as an opportunity to build and impress on the next generation.
Owner/Head of School - Lead Classroom Guide
Amy Valela serves as both the Head of School at Peaceful Child Montessori Academy, as well as the lead classroom teacher.
Amy began teaching 22 years ago and has since developed her skills both as a leader and as a teacher. She has served children in several capacities over the years. Her classroom experience includes time as an assistant in special education classrooms at both the elementary and middle school level. She has served as a classroom assistant and lead teacher in primary classrooms and has served as a children’s pastor over ages 5-12.
All of this experience, in combination with her role as mother of four has prepared her to lead Peaceful Child Montessori Academy with vision, compassion and integrity.
Amy trained at Seton Montessori Institute and received her Montessori 3-6 credentials in January of 2017.
“It has been so amazing to discover God’s purpose and calling on my life to serve children, and to see how all of my experiences and learning have prepared me to walk in this calling.”
Amy Valela, Head of School, PCMA
Bethany serves as the class room assistant at Peaceful Child Montessori Academy.
Bethany began her journey with Peaceful Child Montessori in 2017 as the Administrative Assistant. She also spent time observing in the Primary Classroom. Prior to her accepting the Classroom Assistant position, she spent time as an in home day care provider. This is where she developed a love for the Primary age group and the Montessori method.
Bethany also serves as an FFA leader for Serena School District.
Bethany is currently enrolled at Rasmussen College with a major in Early Childhood Education. She is on schedule to graduate with her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education in June of 2019 at which time she plans to pursue her credentials as a Montessori 3-6 guide.
- Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education – NIU
- 10+ years working in Special Education
- Currently working toward Early Intervention Credentials
- Stay at home mother of 3
“Ready to get back into the Education field! Montessori is something new for me and can’t wait to learn more about it while working with the children!”
A Typical Day at PCMA
At PCMA, we begin our days with the children in mind. Often, the transition from home to school can be a difficult one, and we honor that by allowing for a fluid arrival time. What this means is that, although our day begins at 8:30 – we provide families the grace to arrive any time within a 20 minute interval of that start time. Some families will arrive promptly at 8:20, while others will trickle in between 8:30 and 8:45. The benefit of this is that children and families don’t feel pressured or rushed during their morning routine. This relaxed arrival means that the child can ease into his school day and greet it with joy.
Morning Work Period: 8:30-11:30
Once the children have arrived at school, they begin their first, uninterrupted work period. During this time, the children independently prepare themselves for the day by removing and storing any outerwear, changing into their indoor shoes and selecting their first work choice. This transition time is different for every child, and we strive to honor that. Some children quickly and easily transition into their day, while others take more time to remove jackets, zip zippers, change shoes. At PCMA, there is no rush, as we understand the value of these independent skills. Once all of the children have transitioned into their day and have begun to settle into their independent work choices, the Montessori guides (Lead Teacher and Assistant) begin to offer individual and small group lessons. The first work period lasts from about 8:30-11:15 and is a time that is abuzz with the sounds of children happily engaged in meaningful work.
Line Time: 11:15
Line Time is a very special time in our day at PCMA. This is the only time that the whole class meets together as one group. This time signals the end of the morning work period and the transition into the second half of our day. When it is time for Line Time, the Guide (Lead Teacher) rings a tiny bell to signify to the children that it is time to put away materials and gather on The Line (an ellipse on the floor). Once a few of the children have arrived at the line (remember, not all children move at the same pace – and that’s ok!) the Guide begins to sing songs with the children and practice balancing as they walk on The Line. Once all of the children have arrived to The Line, the Guide begins the daily large group lesson. This is typically involves Calendar Time and a story or lesson that goes along with seasonal themes. Morning Friends (half day students) are dismissed at this time to get ready to go home.
Afternoon Program: 12:00-3:00
The afternoon work period is much like the first, with children transitioning from lunch individually. This means that some children may be finishing up their lunch, while others are ready to begin making work choices for the afternoon. Because many of our younger students do not stay for the full day, the Guide often gives more in-depth lessons to older children during this time. This is also a time for group outside play.