Are you a Montessori guide with an entrepreneurial drive and a deep belief in racial equity and social justice?
Wildflower Schools are a decentralized network of micro-schools that serve racially and socioeconomically diverse communities with an exceptional Montessori education.
We are establishing the foundation in the District of Columbia for Montessori trained Teacher Leaders and communities to design and open Wildflower schools.
Who We Are
We are an organization that provides tools and support to create beautiful, child-centered learning environments that support children, teachers, and families from diverse backgrounds as they follow life’s unfolding journeys. The model combines time-tested, research-supported Montessori methods in one-room, neighborhood-nested shop fronts with promising new ideas in parent engagement, intentional student diversity, teacher empowerment, and data-driven instruction. Wildflower aspires to give all children and families the opportunity to have access to high quality, nurturing, and inclusive learning environments.
Each Wildflower school is unique and led by the teachers who bring their training and life experiences, along with a deep commitment to meeting the specific needs of their children and families. Embedded in this rich diversity of experiences and perspectives are 9 Principles that unite our schools:
- Montessori - Providing a peaceful, mixed-age, child-directed environment;
- Teacher Led - Committed to remaining small, non-hierarchical and responsive to the needs of children;
- Equity - Working to create diverse, inclusive learning environments that work for justice as the foundation of peace;
- Shopfront - A neighborhood-nested school committed to working in partnership with the surrounding community to create an environment that is healthy for children;
- Innovation - Committed to exploring new ideas and the ongoing, scientific study and improvement of our practice;
- Home - Blurring the boundaries of homeschooling and institutional schooling; parents are valued partners of the teacher-leaders;
- Beauty - Cultivating a deep beauty in all things – in the design, culture and artistic expression within our school environments; in our interactions with one another; and in our relationship with ourselves;
- Nature - Emphasizing the connection between nature and humans through a unique living-classroom design and extensive time in nature; and
- Network - Advancing an ecosystem of independent Wildflower schools that mutually support one another.
What You Bring
- A deep commitment to authentic Montessori - Your expertise will position you to be a highly effective facilitator of children’s learning and to extend the values of Montessori to include the adults within your school community. Our teacher leaders have completed an AMI, AMS or other MACTE accredited training program. We are currently looking for primary and elementary trained Montessorians in the District of Columbia.
- Entrepreneurial leadership - You are flexible, open-minded, see opportunity in obstacles, and are energized by using creativity and resourcefulness to anticipate challenges and create solutions to problems.
- Commitment to serving diverse and multifaceted communities - You are eager to increase access to Montessori to racially and socioeconomically diverse communities and are deeply committed to supporting the development of intersectional communities. You understand the role race, along with ethnicity, gender/gender identity and sexual orientation, play in contributing to persistent inequity. You have engaged in culturally responsive and anti-racist practices with the students and families you serve.
- Generosity of spirit - You build authentic relationships in diverse settings, practice gratitude, and lead with love. You seek advice openly and are comfortable working in a non-hierarchical organization.
- Willingness to work hard - You have the aptitude, stamina, time, and appetite to raise yourself to the challenge of starting and leading your own school. You will not be alone, but you will be busy.
- A desire to learn and grow - You are eager to stretch beyond your current experience, to develop new skills and expertise and to more deeply explore your purpose and potential.
What Will You Do?
- Learn about Wildflower, develop plans, and bring your school to life through our supported School Startup Journey.
- With the financial and operational support of the local and national Wildflower teams, find and prepare a school site - this generally involves identifying, leasing and renovating shop front space.
- Design and create a prepared Montessori environment in alignment with your vision and the local regulations in the District of Columbia.
- Actively market your school to recruit and enroll a racially and socioeconomically diverse mix of children and families.
- Collaborate with 1-2 other teacher-leaders to develop a vision for an authentic Montessori school to serve the diversity of the local community.
If you would like to explore opening a Wildflower School in the District of Columbia, please send an email to email@example.com to express your interest in becoming a school founder. Please briefly share your experience as a Montessori teacher and describe how race, power and privilege has played a role in shaping you as an educator.