Friday, August 29, 2008

Montessori Teachers: Making a First Impression and Enjoying the First Day of School

NAMC montessori teachers first impression first day of schoolIt is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.
-Maria Montessori

There’s an old saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. That is certainly the case for Montessori teachers. We know that having a prepared environment is crucial to the success of our Montessori classroom, but what about the preparation of self?

Using core Montessori values as a guide, here are some tips for getting the most out of and enjoying your first day back to school.

Montessori Teachers: Making a First Impression and Enjoying the First Day of School

Relax
Before school starts, do something for yourself to help you relax and unwind from the busy preparation of your Montessori environment. Put on some soothing music. Meditate and reflect. Do some yoga or tai chi. Enjoy and appreciate the solitude and quiet. Create a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. The start of the school year is not the time to worry about all that didn't get done or the possible crises of tomorrow. It’s time to reflect on positive thoughts.

Prepare
Dress for success - know ahead of time what you will be wearing. Make sure it is clean and pressed, if appropriate. Not only will you feel better knowing you look nice, it will lend an air of confidence both to the parents and to your Montessori students.

Pack a healthy snack and lunch. Be sure to include several good sources of protein for energy. Remember, you are the role model for your Montessori students. Packing healthy lunches encourages them to do so as well. Be sure to stay well hydrated by bringing extra water.

Make sure everything you need to take to school is packed and ready to go. Don’t worry yourself in the morning looking for your shoes or your observation book. Have it all by the door waiting for you.

Rest
Get a good night’s sleep. You may be accustomed to going to bed later during the summer holiday, but try to get to bed earlier. If you’re too excited, try having a cup of chamomile tea, or add some soothing scents to the room, such as lavender, chamomile, neroli, rose, or jasmine, either from essential oils or candles.
Be sure to have your alarm set well in advance so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you set it. Make sure you set it a bit earlier than you might need to so you are not rushing through your morning. You want to arrive at school calm, not stressed because you overslept.

Eat Breakfast
We all want our students to arrive alert and well-fed. The same is true for the teacher. Sit down to a real (not rushed) breakfast. Enjoy the morning with your family. Reflect upon your desired outcome for the day.
A positive attitude makes all the difference. A prepared Montessori teacher sets the tone, not just for the start of the school year, but for the whole year. Take the necessary time to focus and prepare yourself and your spirit. It will make all the difference for you and your Montessori classroom.

NAMC's Classroom Guides are a wonderful resource for "The Start of the School Year" and "The Prepared Environment".
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.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, August 29, 2008.

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