Monday, April 12, 2010

Daily Preparation Routines for the Montessori Teacher

It is my belief that the thing which we should cultivate in our teachers is more the spirit than the mechanical skill of the scientist; that is, the direction of the preparation should be toward the spirit rather than toward the mechanism. ~Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method.

NAMC montessori teacher preparation routines prepared environment peace drinking coffee
A few years ago, on a particularly stressful morning, my son and I were late leaving the house. The road on the way to my Montessori school had a steep hill and in my haste and state of preoccupation, I neglected to watch my downhill speed. Sure enough, I caught a glimpse of flashing lights in my rearview mirror. The first thought through my mind was “Wow, someone got caught”. Then, I realized that someone was me. I was humiliated. My first speeding ticket ever and with my son in the car.

On top of that, while I was being written up, my husband drove by and saw the whole thing. Needless to say, I arrived at work shaken up and extremely late. My Montessori students were due to arrive any minute and I was not in the right mindset to greet them. I quickly made a cup of tea, turned on some soothing music, and sat at a table for a few moments of silent meditation.

Preparing for your day as a Montessori teacher is crucial part of preparing the environment. It is much more than just opening the door to your classroom a few minutes before the children arrive. When we enter that door, we need to leave the ‘emotional’ clutter behind. You may be running late, ran out of milk for breakfast, been up all night with a sick child, received a distressing phone call in the middle of the night or be overdrawn at the bank. Whatever the challenge, while this is important to you, being in the moment for your Montessori students is at the heart of the matter.

Here are a few preparation ideas for Montessori teachers/parents to consider:

Daily Preparation Routines for the Montessori Teacher

Morning Preparation
At the beginning of the morning, create a calm, peaceful state of mind:
  • Turn on calm, soothing music
  • Brew some tea
  • Light a candle (if allowed by regulations)
  • Place fresh flowers in the room
  • Turn on lights
  • Check the snack area
  • Tour shelves for a final check
  • Write journal /word of day/problem of day on the board
  • Sit and take some deep breaths
  • Set out your first lesson with materials
  • Be at the front door to great your students with a warm, welcoming smile on your face
At the end of day
  • Review the day’s events with your assistant or co-teacher
  • File all observations made during the day
  • Empty your “inbox” of student work
  • Make and return any parent communication
  • Check and straighten shelves and materials
  • Meditate and give thanks for the day
Renew and refresh each day and night
    NAMC montessori teacher preparation routines prepared environment peace gardening
  • Yoga or Tai Chi
  • Physical Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Family and friends time
  • Time to play and relax
Preparing yourself well is part of preparing the Montessori environment. Ensuring a calmly prepared Montessori teacher ensures a prepared Montessori environment where children are safe, respected, and free to develop in peace.

Related NAMC blogs:
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 Monday, April 12, 2010.


  1. Thank you so much for this info. I will implement some of the recommendations at homeschool.

  2. Wonderful post, really brings me back to the heart of what this is all about.

  3. Thank you both for your kind comments.


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