When I became Montessori certified, I thought I was making an important career change. What I didn’t realize was that it was also a lifestyle change. Being a Montessori teacher isn’t just about a natural, prepared classroom with shelves of Montessori materials. It’s a lifestyle that values respect and peace. It’s about doing unto others and seeing the world through the eyes of the innocent. It’s about order, calm, dignity, and freedom. When I walk out of my Montessori classroom, I carry all of that with me and it is part of who I am, in school and out.
How Am I Montessori Away From My Classroom? Order in the Home and RelationshipsMy Home
I have a friend who comes over about once a week. Last week, she stopped by and as she stepped in to my kitchen she sighed, “It feels so nice knowing your house is always so clean.” It’s not that my house is spotless, but I do like to have everything in its place. I find that my family is happier and more relaxed when the house is kept picked up. It’s also much easier to find things when they are put away properly. I’ll never win an award for housekeeping but I have no qualms about unexpected company coming over.
Other Peoples’ Children
You know that saying about it taking a village to raise a child? Sometimes, all it takes is a Montessori teacher! We were at the neighborhood pool one day this summer, when one of the pre-teen boys was really being a poor sport. The boys were playing catch with a football in the pool and he wasn’t doing very well. His ego couldn’t take it and he started showing off, throwing a pass clear out of the pool and into the parking lot. He then turned to another boy told him to go get it. I had been talking to some of the other mom’s and watching out of the corner of my eye. I saw the exchange, looked the boy right in the eye and gave him a look that expressed my disappointment at his behavior. Without me having to say a word, he got out of the pool and went retrieve the ball. When he returned, I thanked him and let it go. It was an excellent teaching moment for sportsman-like conduct, or what we Montessorians like to refer to as ‘grace-and-courtesy’.
All Creatures Great and Small
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, October 5, 2012.