How I handled these common Montessori teacher worries...I will admit the first few weeks were rough. However, I eventually got the hang of it. I started managing student journals better. I realized that the students needed to be in charge of their own work journals; having a teacher prescribed work plan was NOT Montessori! Even my first year students knew what they needed to work on and what lessons they wanted. Soon, they even learned how to figure out how much time they would need for activities. Some students needed more help and monitoring, and I set aside 5–10 minutes each morning to do that. However, with proper modeling, they all gained independence over their daily and weekly work.
NAMC’s Mastery Checklists were also useful in documenting student progress and planning the next set of lessons. I also quickly realized that if you have self-correcting Montessori materials and works, the teacher does not need to check every piece of work — the students do it themselves! This greatly cut back on the amount of correcting I was doing.
Soon, my students and I had established a routine. They made daily plans in their journal, asking me for help if the needed it. On Fridays, I met with the students individually, reviewing their work journals and asking how they felt about the week. It was also a great time for them to start making plans for the week ahead!
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.