Support for School Startup
Wildflower School Startup Journey
Wildflower Schools are designed, opened, and led by entrepreneurial Montessori teachers with a passion for community-embedded, liberatory education. The Wildflower School Startup Journey is the process we offer to support this mission: a phased program that guides teachers through the process of envisioning, planning, and opening their Wildflower school.
Wildflower’s School Startup Journey is:
Rooted in equity and authentic community engagement
Supported by a network of existing Wildflower schools
Committed to the development of educators as leaders
Designed with a Montessori for Adults approach
Supports for the Journey include:
Resources, tools and templates
Wildflower provides teachers with a framework and a suite of resources to design and develop a Wildflower school. These resources include step-by-step guidance, templates, and vetted tools, such as a Wildflower-specific budget tool; recommended platforms; template policies, schedules, marketing materials and more!
My Wildflower platform
Wildflower’s custom platform, My Wildflower, supports your team’s movement through the School Startup Journey and connects you with others in the Wildflower network.
Individualized coaching from a Wildflower Operations Guide
Wildflower Operations Guides support Emerging Teacher Leaders through the School Startup Journey. Like a Montessori guide, the Operations Guide prepares the environment and acts as the link between the teacher, the Wildflower community and the available resources.
Access to funding opportunities
Through the School Startup Journey, Emerging Teacher Leaders have opportunities to apply for loans and grants and to learn about external funding opportunities. While Wildflower cannot guarantee startup funding, the vast majority of Emerging Teacher Leaders who apply, receive a Sunlight loan, with a typical loan amount of $100-200k.
Support from a community of Teacher Leaders
The existing community of Teacher Leaders are an incredible source of support for new schools. Teacher Leaders support by sharing wisdom and lessons learned; serving as advice givers and board members for new schools; and sharing resources and templates across the network.
Meet our Operations Guides
Operations Guides are one of the most valuable and unique supports available to Emerging Teacher Leaders seeking to open a Wildflower school. As a team, they are knowledgeable about school startup and coaching practices and are adept at holding space that honors Teacher Leader autonomy and the interconnectedness of our work. Read on to meet our operations guides and what they love about their work.
"Rooting in a genuine connection, and co-creating space where we can dream and act together as a team towards a common goal is something I am grateful for and something not easily replicated outside of this work."
"I love how the School Startup Journey mirrors Montessori for adults in so many ways! The relationships I get to build with teams are so invigorating and exciting. It feels like such an honor for teachers to entrust me to support them with opening their school which is often a direct connection to their core being."
"I love Wildflower Teacher Leaders – they are passionate, tenacious, powerful entrepreneurs. Supporting and coaching adults is energizing work for me and guiding folks through Wildflower’s School Startup Journey to help them realize their vision of community-embedded Montessori microschools is an honor."
“Así como lo hacen las flores silvestres, las escuelas Wildflower crecen en espacios inesperados y de manera orgánica. Crecen gracias a la fuerza, el entusiasmo y el compromiso de maestros líderes excepcionales. Ellos son el agua y el sol que hace florecer las escuelas. Me honra poder ser parte de su camino.”
"I love watching teachers from the beginning of their journey to doors open and seeing how their vision evolves along the way. The learning for the teachers and myself is inspiring."
Interested in Starting a Wildflower School?
What Wildflower Teacher Leaders have to say about the School Startup Journey
“It felt like home—it felt so Montessori. Approaching starting a school in a Montessori way. It felt so comfortable and aligned with what I’m familiar with as a Montessori educator.”
“[The Advice Process was] AM-MAZ-ING! If there is something unique that speaks to co-creation and community by design in school modeling [it’s this]!”
“This has been an incredible experience. The amount and resources has been overwhelming and helpful. We could not have made as much progress as we have so quickly without the aid we received.”
“Being able to build a school and foster a small village around it in accordance with my/our values has been the greatest privileges of my career thus far.”
“Since the first moment I was introduced to Wildflower I was highly impressed with every person I came in contact with from the foundation. I have felt supported, inspired throughout my personal journey and can not wait to have my own school with my partner. I deeply believe in all of the guiding principles, as they are aligned so closely to my own beliefs. I am extremely motivated to share what I have experienced with like-minded educators in the hopes to expand Montessori in my area.”
“I am 100% likely to recommend Wildflower start up journey to others, because of the constant help and encouragement that I receive during my school start up journey. I couldn't have gotten so far without Wildflower.”
“Wildflower presents a unique opportunity for a certain kind of person- as long as they are going in with eyes wide open and have space in their lives for a huge commitment, Wildflower offers the opportunity to try Montessori’s experiment while learning a lot along the way.”