Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Promoting Independence from Teachers: Montessori Students Working Together

This year long series looks at the experiences of teachers, parents, students, and Montessori education itself, as we follow a student through his first year at a Montessori Preschool. The Montessori Insights and Reflections of a Preschool Student’s First Year is a collection of useful stories, tips, and information that has arisen from one real student's Montessori journey, viewed through the eyes of his Montessori Teacher, Bree Von Nes.

NAMC montessori students working together promoting independence
Another Step Toward Independence
Another milestone occurred during snack time today in our Montessori preschool classroom. Since the start of school, Jordan has needed help finding his lunch bag, unzipping it and opening his containers. Despite our constant efforts to encourage Jordan to be independent, he falls apart when he is not confident in doing something on his own and refuses to even make the effort.

Promoting Independence from Teachers: Montessori Students Working Together

About a week ago, I decided to try something different … I paired Jordan with one of the five-year-old students and explained that before he asks a teacher for help, he needs to first request help from his ‘big buddy’. Doing so has enabled me and the other teacher to remove ourselves from the situation, but still be close by to give Jordan the support that he feels he needs. After a few classes of having his classmate help him, Jordan finally began to show readiness to do it on his own.

Today, Jordan took great delight in doing everything on his own at snack time. First he got his snack out of the cubby area all by himself. Then, he washed his hands, opened his containers, and prepared his snack. When he was done his snack he tidied his crumbs with a small broom and dustpan until every last crumb was picked up. To top it off, he then assisted a younger child with pouring her own glass of water and asked her if she wanted him to carry it to her table. It is so rewarding to see Jordan becoming more independent and I love that he is working hard to not only help himself, but also his classmates. He is becoming so much more confident and takes great pride in helping others … such an amazing transformation!
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 Tuesday, November 23, 2010.

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