Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Best Advice to a New Montessori Teacher - Model and Prepare

Thoughts from Montessori Teachers on Their Best Advice...

best advice to a new NAMC montessori teacher from other teachers helping child with sandpaper lettersFrom Lisha —

Be confident in yourself and your abilities as a Montessori teacher. You have your Montessori training in place; you understand the Montessori methodology and philosophy; and you are enthusiastic about guiding children in their learning — that counts for a lot. Things will not always go as you planned, but that is okay. When that happens, remember that one of the great things about children is that they are very forgiving. Overall, relax, enjoy, and have fun!

From Collean —

You are a new Montessori teacher, full of hope and enthusiasm and eagerly anticipating your chance to apply all you have learned. Despite your positive attitude, the beginning of the school year can be a challenge. And if things do not go as smoothly as you had envisioned, it is possible you may feel a bit discouraged. My best advice is to remain inspired — hold on to that enthusiasm. But also, be prepared for those days when things are not going as planned. Here are some ways to do just that:

Always model the positive behavior you want from your students. Be aware of yourself and how you impact the environment and the atmosphere. Be mindful of your emotions, attitude, and demeanor. There will be days when the tone of the classroom becomes hectic, and you feel out of sorts. Instead of allowing yourself to be negatively affected by any chaos around you, decide that you are impervious to it. Influence the environment and people around you with your unwavering tranquility and good nature. Self-control and discipline begin with a conscious and deliberate practice.

Trust in the Montessori environment and materials you prepared ahead of time. A well-prepared Montessori environment is instrumental in guiding each student to be an active participant in his or her own learning. It helps to cultivate the children’s intrinsic motivation and develop self-control. Similarly, offering the children engaging work with the Montessori materials leads them toward self-discipline and concentration. Remember to provide enough choice work to excite and inspire the individual personalities and learning styles in your class. And when in doubt, go out! On those days when even your well-prepared environment is not engaging enough for your children, take them out of doors. Moving and being outside will help enliven and refresh you and your students — even if it is just a walk to observe the changes in the seasons.

Be open to change. Do not be complacent or get too caught up with your ideas about what should be. Examine and question your own practices on a regular basis, and continue working to grow and improve. Do not be afraid of asking for help and accept constructive criticism graciously. Remember that there is always something to learn and as teachers, we should model the same curiosity and appetite for learning that we strive to instill in our students.

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 Wednesday, August 22, 2012.


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