Thursday, July 14, 2011

Montessori Teacher Perspectives: Prepared Environment and Classroom Design

NAMC montessori teacher perspectives prepared environment classroom design state map puzzle
This is a student response to one of our NAMC blogs, The Peaceful Montessori Classroom: Prepared Environment Design. We would like to share it with you. Thank you to NAMC Lower Elementary student Michelle S. for her insights!

I wish I had read this blog when I first started to learn about the Montessori method. I went through a stage of trying to define what made the prescription for the Montessori classroom. I lived in a rural area and had seen only a few elementary classrooms early in my training. I am proud to say my ability to set up, arrange and organize the Montessori elementary environment has grown through my NAMC experience.

I still go through brief moments of doubt when I feel everything is chaotic, and I do sometimes miss my traditional rows of desks and everyone turning to the same page of their math textbooks. As a matter of fact, the last time I felt that way a few boys in the Montessori classroom were building a robot, one of my girls was solving binomials, several were working on the pin map of Africa, the Timeline of People was out with books on early man, another student was working on an embroidery project. The classroom felt like a whirlwind of activity.

Montessori Teacher Perspectives: Prepared Environment and Classroom Design

NAMC montessori teacher perspectives prepared environment classroom design culture area
Recently we had welcomed a new elementary student with no Montessori experience. On his first day, I invited him to join me for lessons and learn more about the Montessori classroom and curriculum, especially the cultural works. On the same day that I was feeling my brief insecurity about my Montessori environment, this new student approached me to say, “I like how everything is so organized. Even I know where to put things when it is time to clean up!” Perspective is awesome. In the midst of all this activity, he saw that it was organized and orderly.

I am growing as a Montessori teacher and now I see that by giving the classroom to the students, they give me so much more than I could ever ask for in return. Adding a few items that are beautiful, that show my personality and make it feel like our home contribute to the process of making our Montessori environment a comfortable place that encourages a love of learning.
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 Thursday, July 14, 2011.

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