Monday, July 30, 2012

My Most Challenging Montessori Student - Responsibilities

most challenging montessori student young boy watering plant
Montessori teachers help challenging students develop their confidence
by giving them responsibilities in the classroom.
From Lisha —

My most challenging Montessori student was a little boy who was not interested in doing anything. He enjoyed coming to school each day, but when it came to work time, he would happily walk around the classroom with his hands in his pockets. We encouraged him to work with all sorts of Montessori materials but nothing sparked his interest. We were very concerned that this little boy was going to not learn anything.

Thoughts from Montessori teachers on challenging students...

One day we overheard that his dad was a builder and that he wanted to be just like his dad so we had an idea …we decided to loosen some screws around the classroom. The next day, when it came to work time, we told the little boy that we had noticed that there were a few loose screws on the coat hooks and would he mind helping us tighten them. I handed him a screwdriver and away he went with a huge smile on his face. After he “fixed” those, he walked around the whole classroom seeing what else he could “fix.” He actually found some screws that we had not loosened and fixed those for us, too! We were please to find the thing that sparked his interest and we built on that knowledge by creating a few special Practical Life activities that pertained to building. Of course, he loved them! For the next little while, we related everything that he was learning to construction in some way, which helped keep him focused. Over time, we moved away from relating everything to construction, and he happily continued to learn!

From Collean —

I remember one little 4-year-old boy who came from a difficult home life. He could be very defiant at times, but he was also quite sensitive and emotional. I did my best to provide him with the attention that he sought in an encouraging manner that would help build his feelings of belonging, self-worth, and confidence. If there was anything that he wanted to share, I made sure to listen warmly and attentively. I tried to help him understand and verbalize his feelings and frustrations. I also gave him more responsibilities around the classroom, such as asking him to water our plants, give the snack table a good scrub, or help a young friend with some challenging lock and key work. Over time I watched as his confidence and self-assurance improved, and he became an obliging and productive member of our classroom.
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 Monday, July 30, 2012.

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