Collaborating with Montessori colleagues outside of your classroom or school can be extremely beneficial. An example may be a collaborative partnership with a teacher (or teachers) of a similar age group as your Montessori classroom. Comparing notes and observing each other’s environments, record keeping, materials, etc, all contribute to ongoing improvements in your own skills and your Montessori prepared environment.
Ideally, your collaboration partner is someone who is outside of your daily classroom routine and can provide you with fresh and invaluable insights. This person could be another teacher at your school, a teacher at a nearby school, a teacher in another state or country, or a retired teacher.
Collaboration Among Montessori Teachers - Forming a Teaching PartnershipIncorporate any and all technologies for this partnered collaboration. Meet face-to-face, via web cam (i.e., Skype), tour their classroom virtually through photographs or a slideshow, or write notes, emails, and letters. (You can incorporate many of the ideas in Part 1 by using these technologies.)
Your collaborative partner can become an invaluable asset for you and how you approach your teaching. If you have a specific problem, issue, or question about a student, a Montessori material, or your Montessori environment, you can solicit advice or initiate a problem-solving discussion with your collaborative partner. Your partner’s input can also be very helpful when you are examining and evaluating the flow and content of your curriculum.
Of course it would be ideal to partner with a Montessori teacher who also teaches the same age group as you, but truly, a Montessori teacher of any age group can be a potentially good collaborative partner. If you are feeling especially adventurous, you may choose to partner with a teacher at a non-Montessori school or even a home schooling parent. Ideally, as long as the other teacher inspires you and holds you accountable to your goals and ideas (and vice-versa), you will both benefit from this shared effort.
As we move forward in this new calendar year, consider suggesting collaborative partners as a school-wide opportunity and exercise. It may be a positive way to renew your colleagues’ energy and enthusiasm during the middle of the school year.
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© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.