|Your Montessori mentor can help you with everything from|
classroom management to practicing with Montessori materials.
As the new school year approaches, I offer these four suggestions to new Montessori teachers:
Find a mentor
Find someone in your school who has taught at least four years in the Montessori environment. They have been through what you are going through now, and they have the experience to help you through even your toughest days. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Remember that your mentor is a valuable resource — use this resource to help you be successful. Confide in your mentor, ask questions, and show her/him what you are doing. Chances are, your mentor will be more than happy to take you under his/her wing.
Read Best Advice to New Montessori Teacher Prepare
You will be busy setting up your classroom and planning your year, but take time to review the teachings of Maria Montessori. You will find there is something new every time you open up the words of Dr. Montessori. Here are some suggestions of Dr. Montessori’s works to read, along with several other brilliant writers to try:
• The Secret of Childhood, Maria Montessori
• The Montessori Method, Maria Montessori
• The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori
• Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, Angeline Stoll Lillard
• Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood, Paula Polk Lillard
• The Tao of Montessori: Reflections on Compassionate Teaching, Catherine McTamaney
• Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful, Donna Bryant Goertz
• Positive Discipline in the Classroom, Revised 3rd Edition: Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in Your Classroom & Positive Discipline, Jane Nelsen Ed.D.
There are many temptations that can make you doubt yourself and your convictions. There are social media sites that tout cute bulletin boards and classroom decorations. Teacher supply stores offer tempting doodads and classroom trinkets. Resist the temptation! Remember the simple beauty of the Montessori environment. Trust the method. Trust the materials. Trust the children to show you what they need.
Most of all, relax. Do something in these last few days before school starts just for you. When you are confident and relaxed, your students will be, too. It is okay not to have all the answers. Your students will respect you more if you are able to honestly say, “I don’t know. Let’s go find out together.”
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.