Spending time observing in a Montessori classroom provides you with an excellent and unparalleled opportunity to see what life is like inside a Montessori school and classroom. Whether this is your first exposure to the Montessori experience or you are investigating a new school, your experience in the classroom will give you an insight as to what your child will experience as a Montessori student.
In order to have the best possible observation, here are a few tips for observing and interpreting what you see in Montessori classrooms.
What and Why Parents Should be Observing in the Montessori Classroom
- When you enter the classroom, you may or may not find a set of adult size chairs and you may find yourself sitting on a tiny child-size chair. If the teacher is not actively engaged with the children, you may find yourself being introduced. If she is busy, please be seated and wait for the teacher to speak to you. If possible, she may give you a tour of the classroom and briefly explain the nature and purpose of the materials. (If class has already started, it may be necessary to arrange for this at a later time).
- The children may come up to you. Please try not to engage them in conversation. A polite “Hello” and a direct response as to who you are is sufficient. Montessori children realize and understand that observers come to watch them work.
- If you have questions or concerns while observing, please write them down. The teacher is often unable to take time away from their classroom duties during the course of an observation. The teacher or administrator will be glad to answer these questions
In an upcoming blog, I’ll discuss the role of the parent in Montessori education. Is Montessori the right choice for you?
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, January 4, 2008.