Quiet Shoes

August 18th, 2012

I’m quickly learning that the “vibe” of Montessori learning is very different from the daycare/preschool that Miss Mouse attended in Pittsburgh.   Her classroom there was full of hustle and bustle.  Lots of activity — much of it boisterous — and lots of brightly-color art on the walls, rugs on the floor, and chairs in the reading nooks.  I liked it.  It was cheerful.

The word that better describes the Montessori world is “serene.”  There isn’t a lot of art on the walls and what is posted is usually “real” art — like an actual painting — not kid art.  The colors are more muted and you’re more likely to see wooden toys rather than plastic.  Then there’s the fact that the glassware is real glass.

Miss Mouse didn’t have a school supply list (unlike Buggie).  The materials are provided.  She needed a crib sheet and blanket for nap time, a change of clothes, and a pair of “quiet shoes.”

The last item on the list gave me pause until I consulted with other returning parents.  It turns out that the kiddos have designated indoor shoes that they wear only in the classroom.  They are to have relatively soft soles (no cowboy boots!) and, at the request of our teacher, are not to contain cartoon characters which might “distract from the learning environment.

Good luck finding slippers in size Toddler 8 not emblazoned with a Disney character at the local Walmart.

So I went online and turned up a pair of very fun pink Minnetonka moccasins (complete with beaded bird!) for my girl and she loves them.  The shoes are just one of the signals that we’ve entered a different educational space now.  I’ll share more as we go along!

4 responses to “Quiet Shoes”

  1. G'Mom says:

    Crib sheet? Does Miss Mouse perhaps need a special one for school? I know someone who likes to make them…

  2. jaclyn says:

    Yep. The boys had slippers (but they had to have a nonslip sole). The teacher told us that this helps them transition from outside environment to the “learning environment” inside. They seemed to enjoy this ritual of changing shoes at the start of the day. :)

  3. K.C. says:

    Is it just me, or is there a bit of a Mister Rogers vibe to the shoe-changing? Very interesting to hear about the contrasts with your other preschool experience! Hope it’s wonderful for Miss Mouse and for you….

    • Kate says:

      Oooh, I like that connection. If they request that we bring in cardigans, I’ll know it’s no accident. It has been fascinating to compare the learning environments. I really loved the facility in the ‘Burgh — I liked the bright and the kid art and all that. It’s been an adjustment, but I’m learning to appreciate the serenity vibe.

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