Close your eyes and visualize a Montessori classroom before the children enter on the first day of school. What did you see? Beautiful materials on well-organized shelves? Real plants and fresh flowers? Beautiful, delicate objects within the reach of children? Rolled rugs? Child-size furniture? Lots of natural light? Before the children enter, however, there is one more preparation to make. You must prepare yourself as the Montessori teacher.
Although the teacher is in the background of the Montessori environment, the preparation of the teacher is of vital importance. After all, the Montessori classroom is constant in the lives of children, yet the atmosphere of the classroom can change on any given day. Why? Because of the teacher. When children enter the classroom, they immediately know what kind of day it’s going to be based on the reception they get from the teacher. Did she smile and shake their hand? Or did she rush past them on her way to the copy machine?
Montessori Prepared Environment: The Montessori Teacher
Maria Montessori said, "The first step to be taken in the preparation of the adult is a change in attitude."
It is up to the adult to remember that the children are in the forefront. The Montessori teacher needs to relinquish her own agenda and allow the child the lead. The teacher should remove all obstacles which could impede the learning.
So, the next time you find yourself hurrying down the corridor in a rush to get to your classroom, slow down and think about how you’d like your day to start. Turn on some peaceful music, sit down, and give thanks for the children who will be entering your doors. They will never know, but it will make all the difference in everyone’s day.
- Montessori Prepared Environment: Purpose, Set-Up and Classroom Features
- Montessori Prepared Environment: Control of Error
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, November 23, 2007.