Fiddich Review Centre

Vancouver’s Skinner Montessori celebrating 50 years

“It’s been a tremendous challenge,” she said. “Skinner’s been blessed with great teachers, we all pulled together. We all leaned on each other.”

The temporary grappling with remote learning and shift to include technology in curriculum, Skinner said, was little more than another tool for her teachers to learn — and one she said she’s still getting the hang of. But even across 50 years, even despite something like the COVID-19 pandemic, she said the approach to her teaching hasn’t changed all that much.

“I feel if there’s anything constructive that’s changed it’s been in maturation of the teachers as they commit to the approach and get better at seeing cues in children,” she said. “It teaches to the child. To be able to speed up when the child shows the concept is understood and to be able to come to a complete stop when they need it.”

When visiting the school on a recent Friday, that “complete stop” was on full display. Following a post-snack time cleanup altercation between two of her young students, Skinner paused an interview to sit them down and work through the conflict. The students, just 6 or 7, quickly worked it out and soon returned to cleanup tasks.

Despite launching the school as a way to make ends meet her in her 20s, the school and its method now appear inextricably linked to Skinner’s soul.

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