Montessori School of Moscow

Montessori in Moscow

History of the School

Montessori School of Moscow is the brainchild of Valentina Zaytseva. She first started the school in 2009, initially under the name of Moscow Montessori Preschool, supported by a group of enthusiastic parents and teachers. Her mission was to bring an international standard of Montessori education to Moscow. At the time, there were no Montessori schools in Moscow that had native speakers of English trained by AMI working as Lead Teachers. Valentina performed an international search and found Joanne King. Together Valentina and Joanne launched all the programs at MSM and started to build the team. As soon as in late Fall of 2009 Montessori School of Moscow made it into the prestigious list of best schools in Moscow by Forbes Russia Online (, and in the Spring of 2010 Vogue Russia magazine featured MSM in their special issue on multilingualism.

From the first days MSM management has been serious about staff traning and development. Aiming for the highest standard of Montessori teachers training offered by AMI, we originally set ourselves high standards. At that time, there were no teacher training centers in Russia, in which the level of training would be in line with the international standard, and there was no mentoring system in place - again, due to the lack of specialists with AMI credentials who would be constantly working in a class with children. In fact, the most important component in the formation of any successful Montessori teacher is having access to a mentor, to whom one can turn for advice and guidance at any time. When in the Fall of 2009 Valentina realized that there were no mentors in Russia with appropriate level of expertise to be able to advise MSM, she began her search for an international consultant. In the Spring of 2010 Susan Stephenson, a Montessori consultant with more than 40 years of experience, first came to observe MSM from the United States. Since then Susan has been our school's educational advisor. In the summer of 2010, MSM sent Eleonora Galyuk to Denver, USA, to attend the 0-3 teacher training course under Judi Orion, one of the most experienced trainers in the world for that age group, which she completed in 2011. Also in 2010, Valentina went through the Montessori administrators training with David Kahn, the Executive Director of NAMTA.

Montessori School of Moscow Community Map

This map highlights the coutries represented in our community. We have Russian, international and bilingual children in our classrooms. We highly appreciate the diversity of cultures and traditions represented in our community and take great pride in it.


Jens and Louise Harpoth

Dear Teachers and Staff at the Montessori School of Moscow,

I regret to inform you that Josephine, Alexander and Amalie will have their last day of school at MSM on Thursday the 14th of June. As you already know, we will be relocating to America this summer and we will be leaving Moscow on the 16th of June.

Although it is hard for us to say enough good things about MSM, my husband and I wanted to try to write just a few words to you, in appreciation of the wonderful three years that our children have spent in the positive and respectful learning environment which you offer at MSM:

Our children have evolved enormously in the years that they have been at MSM in this developmentally very important time in their lives. When they started at MSM, the oldest were 2 and 3 years old and had spent their first years at home with me. Very quickly after starting school, we could see their advancements in learning and social skills through the combination of the Montessori teaching methods and philosophy and outstanding teachers. The confidence and curiosity which has been instilled in them while at MSM, extends well beyond the classroom, and has turned them into happy, well balanced, confident, and articulate children who will be ready to take on the challenges awaiting them in elementary school and further on.

I would like to share a story from a few months ago in our household as a small example of the effect that MSM has had on our children who -at the time- were 1, 4 and 6; It was a normal school and working day for my husband, myself and the three children. Usually we get up at latest 7 o'clock to be able to get everyone to school and work on time. However, on this Wednesday morning, my husband and I suddenly woke up and realised to our dismay that our alarm clock had failed to go off and it was now 8 o'clock! We jumped out of bed, expecting to find 3 sleeping children in their rooms, but the sight that we met was quite different. All 3 children were sitting in a sofa, calmly reading a book together, already fully dressed and finished with breakfast. All three plates and cups were in the dishwasher, breakfast cereal and milk put away and the dining table was wiped clean. I'm sure that you can imagine our joy. Needless to say, everyone got to work and school on time.

We thank you wholeheartedly, MSM teachers and staff, for taking such good care of our three children and giving them such a perfect start to life.

With deepest regards,
Jens and Louise Harpoth
May 30th, 2012

Sofia Georgakopoulou and Konstantinos Delialis


Coming from Greece, where rote memorisation is the norm and giving birth to my son in the US where the pressure for children to perform is immense, it was a very positive surprise when we found a little oasis of calm for our children (four and one) in Moscow, Russia.

Our eldest son has always been a very bubbly, independent, boisterous little boy; very frustrating and very lovable at the same time, as every parent of a four year old will attest! The intimate atmosphere of MSM and the Montessori curriculum has helped our eldest son, and our family, thrive in numerous ways. He has learnt to respect himself and others; respect his abilities, respect the abilities of other children and respect the personal space of each child. We learnt to give our children the time and space they needed to focus on whatever they needed doing - being work around the house, reading or playing. From their amazing teachers we learnt that in order to demand appropriate behaviour from our children, we had to model that behaviour ourselves. We have seen our son change from being very jealous towards his little brother, to becoming an older wiser brother eager to help his baby brother explore the world - modelling the behaviour of older children in his classroom who effortlessly help younger classmates in their daily tasks.

Last but not least it has been an honour to have Joanne as the classroom teacher (or guide as they call the teacher in the Montessori classroom). Not only is she a very experienced and talented teacher, but she is also passionate in her work, very composed, always available to parents and always close to the children, respecting their freedom and providing them with opportunities along the way, to learn from her, the classroom environment and from each other.

We highly recommend MSM to any family with young children living or considering moving to Moscow. This school and the education it provides taught us to take every minute of this amazing journey as an amazing moment of discovery for us and our children.

Sofia Georgakopoulou and Konstantinos Delialis
May 30th, 2012



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