Friday, January 27, 2012

A NAMC Student’s Experience as a Montessori Parent: Choosing Teacher Training

montessori teacher and boy with flags choosing NAMC montessori teacher training autismPart 3 of 4 – Choosing NAMC Montessori Elementary Teacher Training

This four-part series include excerpts from an introductory letter written by a NAMC Lower Elementary diploma program student, Rachel, to her NAMC tutor. A mother of six boys, she was first introduced to Montessori in seeking alternative method of education for her first son. Her first four sons attended public school since kindergarten, with the oldest three beginning their education in Montessori preschool. Rachel’s two youngest boys, aged nine and ten, are autistic and she has chosen to complete her NAMC 6-9 diploma so that she may work with her sons using the Montessori method.

Why I chose the NAMC Montessori Lower Elementary diploma program to help my two youngest sons:

I have two autistic boys, ages nine and ten. They are struggling in the public school system. The ten year old hates being “told what to do” and thinks his teachers are “bossy”. I hope that he will thrive on being able to choose his own work and by integrating his studies into something that fascinates him.

Last year, he studied the nutrition pyramid. He was totally fascinated and spent every moment he could at school learning more about nutrition and the digestive tract. I think that had he been allowed to continue this study and had they integrated reading and writing and the body systems into this interest, he would have done well at school. Instead they pushed him into learning about the US government system in which he had no interest. He shut down and refused to do any more work for them and is now in a program for autistic children but still trying to be mainstreamed. This year he is interested in the US government system. He told me last week, “Did you know that the President lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?” Now would be a good time to allow him to delve into what a president is or if he is interested in housing, shelters around the world, but they have moved on to something else and he is now having a lot of behavior problems because he is being forced to do things he doesn’t want to.

My nine year old son has a language disability. He must be taught visually and be allowed to assimilate vocabulary at his own internal rate. Each year he falls further behind his classmates because teaching becomes more and more auditory. His auditory processing is very slow but if he can see and/or do something, he will understand and learn it. I have tried to explain to his teachers that he must have visuals, but they are not taking the time to create things that will capture attention and involve the students. I think he might be noticing that he is not doing as well as the other children and am afraid his self-esteem will be affected. Even my husband, who does not like the idea of homeschool, has realized that the public school system is not working for our nine year old son.

Related NAMC Blogs:
The NAMC diploma program and materials provide a comprehensive curriculum for Montessori educators:

    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, January 27, 2012.

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