Thoughts from Montessori teachers on learning from their students...From Lisha —
Three important things I learned from my Montessori students can be summed up ….
- 1. They are capable of much more than we think.
- 2. That we learn something new every day…even as teachers!
- 3. Take chances and if you don’t succeed, don’t give up! Try, try, and try again.
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to spend so much time in the delightful presence of young children. Some of my best conversations have been with 3 year olds! Being in the Montessori classroom with young children, I quickly learned that the key to teaching is to captivate and intrigue the children. When you are sharing with your students, show genuine passion and interest! True enthusiasm is infectious and it comes back to you twofold. It is such a gift when your students can also help you to rediscover the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Enjoy the journey
We often hear that learning should be fun. Never mind the “should”... true learning is fun! Fostering a love for learning and discovering is one of our important goals, and I have learned to value the journey and the process more than the result. I have observed older students experiencing this same joy as they help younger students with an activity. Thanks to the to the 3-year age grouping of the Montessori classroom, older students often have the opportunity to work with their younger classmates. Watching their delight as they guide a child through a lesson reminds me that teaching is also fantastic way to bolster knowledge. And the satisfaction and pride that a child experiences when helping a young friend is invaluable!
Make a genuine connection with each child
Each child has unique strengths and gifts to build upon, and no single path is right for all of them. Instead of allowing ourselves to view a child as the class troublemaker whose behavior must be suppressed, we should make every effort to get to know the child and connect with them on a personal level. I have learned the value in building an open and friendly relationship with each child. Showing children that you truly respect and value them and their capabilities is the surest way to help them appreciate their own potential and draw them into the classroom community.
From Dale —
Unnecessarily Stressed Parents
One the most important things I learned from my Montessori students is that, for the most part, they weren't only okay; they were perfect in almost every way! Unfortunately their parents did not think so; they were always worrying that some little thing was going to ruin their child’s entire life.
I also learned that given the opportunity, children are actually pretty good at solving their own interactive issues. Sitting down together and discussing what happened between themselves and how they would ensure it did not happen again was almost always successful. My Montessori students learned so much going through the process; they definitely learned about the other person, but more importantly, they learned essential truths about themselves.
I learned that most children are very self-confident. Surprisingly, they can often fearlessly address a crowd and they enjoy sharing their thoughts and feelings with others. Since public speaking is one of our society’s greatest fears, it made me wonder what goes wrong and why we lose that confidence as we grow older. I have realized that sometime during the teen years, most of us start worrying far too much about what others think of us. I have learned that we should care much less about what others think of us and much more about how we feel about ourselves.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 13, 2012.