Both of our children attended First Journey Montessori and we were very impressed with all the instruction and tools they used in this Montessori environment. Our children each had different strengths and were able to be challenged by the academic structure in the school, thus promoting a higher level of learning. With teachers that are so passionate about their classrooms and the wellbeing of their students, it meant that our children were happy and excited to go to school every day. The different lesson plans and programs throughout the year brought a nice variety of topics and allowed our children to work on and develop new skills. Not only was the structure good for our children while at school, but we were encouraged to follow through with their methods at home, which made a huge difference in our lives. We are thankful that Shona and the First Journey staff have given our children a great start and we continue to watch them flourish.. - Jessie and Jim
While living abroad, we needed to find immediate child care for when we arrived in Ottawa. Not knowing anything about Montessori at the time, we were mostly looking for a caring environment for our daughter. We initially liked the small, intimate style of the classrooms and school, and the location. The school was very accommodating setting up a tour and ultimately registration through a family member, e-mail and fax as were out of the country.
As soon as we arrived at First Journey Montessori we were all completely pleased with our decision. It immediately felt like family, with very caring and attentive teachers. Our daughter thrived in the Montessori system. We knew within a short amount of time that her independence, confidence, curiosity, abilities, and life skills improved daily. Not only did we love it, so did our daughter!
We have also been completely converted to the Montessori system and way of life. We were very impressed how the mixed ages within the classroom benefited our daughter at different stages. And thanks to the classroom observation visits and daily feedback we also learned great ways to interact with our daughter at home.
We spent three happy years at First Journey Montessori until we again moved overseas. Because of our daughter’s excellent foundation in the Montessori system she transitioned into her new school flawlessly and is excelling. She continues to mention First Journey Montessori and all the things she learned and did there, and the memories of her past teachers (and we’ve been gone for almost a year!) We are so thankful we found First Journey Montessori and that we as a family grew and learned so much during our time there. A special thank-you to all the staff at First Journey Montessori as well. We miss you! - Sally and Mark
Nico's experience with the Montessori approach and materials has been very positive. I believe his experience with the toddler program has contributed directly to his strong independence, confidence, imagination and curiosity. When Nico began his Montessori experience he was immediately drawn to certain program materials and Shona was quick to understand and adapt to his interests and learning style - something the Montessori approach promotes. Shona has a very calming effect on her students and it worked wonders with Nico as he quickly learned how to handle each work item and how to be respectful of his classmates. What has struck me about Shona as a Montessori teacher is her dedication to how her classroom is run, the relationships she fosters with her parents and students as well as the quality of the Montessori experience (materials, routines, safety etc.) - all of which contribute to a wonderfully nurturing learning environment. - Annalisa and Jean-Sébastien
I am writing to strongly express our support for Shona Salati as an outstanding Montessori teacher. Our daughter had a wonderful experience in "Ms. Shona's" Toddler's Montessori Class. Shona is very experienced Montessori teacher who takes great pride in her teaching and is committed to the development of all her students. She has a wealth of teaching experience which translates into her ability to work successfully with children with diverse personalities and abilities. I was always impressed at how calm her classroom was and how even young 18 month year old children were engaged in their "work" cycles. In addition to traditionally Montessori activities, Shona brings to her classroom a sense of joy and creativity. Indeed, lots of new songs and dance moves were added to our daughter's repertoire! Most importantly to us, Shona was able to not only decipher the needs of our daughter, but provide for her the environment to flourish and evolve from a toddler to a very independent and confident child. Probably the greatest stamp of approval for Shona is that our daughter still asks "Where is my Shona?". - Kristin
Our daughter has been fortunate enough to have had Shona as her teacher for two years – Shona's reputation preceded her and having our daughter in Shona's classroom was really the best thing that could have happened to our child. Shona is an exceptional teacher with expertise, skill, and a love of children. We have watched our daughter learn to focus on what she is doing, to enjoy helping out at home, and to learn to play well with other children, and these skills were developed under Shona's expert guidance. What we particularly appreciated was that Shona shared her knowledge and her observations of our child with us so that we could improve our parenting and use a consistent approach at school and at home. We felt very involved in our child's life at school, through our in-class observations and our daily chats with Shona about our daughter. Shona's approach is very child-driven. Our daughter is high-spirited and energetic, and Shona used praise, lots of individual attention, and kept our child motivated through new activities to channel her energy. We felt very secure in leaving our child with Shona, and as parents what ultimately was important to us was to see the genuine love Shona and our daughter have for each other. - Peter and Yetta
Ms. Shona guided the toddler classroom very professionally. Her knowledge of the Montessori method was critical in the children's development. She actively guided my daughter's potty training with effective results and in close cooperation with the techniques used at home. As a parent, I appreciated Ms. Shona's loving care and guidance through the development of my daughter during the time in her class. - Ingrid
It is my pleasure to offer my highest recommendation to Ms. Shona Salati. Shona was my son's Montessori teacher during his first year in the toddler program, and under her direction I have seen him flourish. During my observations of the classroom environment it was evident that Shona is a consummate professional who adheres to the Montessori method in her approach to teaching, and that she has a keen sense of each child's unique developmental level and capacity for independence.
However, what makes Shona unique is not simply her adherence to the Montessori philosophy, but rather her personal demeanor and ability to build and maintain relationships with both children and parents. Shona is warm, caring and calm. She is immensely respectful of the children in her classroom, getting down to their level and speaking to them as individuals in their own right. In turn, my son developed a great deal of respect and affection for Shona, and it was a delight to see him respond to her. I often marveled at how well my son listened to Shona, even through stages during which he was regularly testing his limits and asserting his independence. This was no doubt a result of Shona's quiet authoritativeness.
From my own experience as well as in speaking with other parents, Shona was equally invested in developing strong collaborative relationships with parents. Despite the busy classroom environment, she regularly took extra time to speak with me not only about my son but also to make conversation in general. On days when I did not see her in person, she would often send a note home with my son letting me know about his accomplishments, difficulties, or simply what kind of day it had been for him. Shona's investment in building that relationship with both my son and I made it clear that her role as a Montessori teacher is not simply a job to her. In Shona I felt I had a teammate in guiding my son's growth. As a psychologist, I felt reassured knowing that during a critical developmental period, my son's social, emotional, and language abilities were being fostered in a way that would set him on the right path. As a mother, I felt fortunate to have my son spend his daytime hours with someone who instilled values that were consistent with my own, and was always pleased to see how happy he was while he was in class.
Both my son and I will miss Shona when he transitions out of her classroom; she is a very special teacher. - Michele