I became a Montessori teacher when my son was in the lower elementary environment. It was wonderful because we were able to go to work together each day. He would then go to his class and I would go to the upper elementary class in which I was teaching. I knew his teachers and knew he was in a safe and loving environment. Then, one day, one of my upper elementary parents came to me and said “What are you going to do when your son is in your upper elementary classroom next year?”
Being Your Child’s Teacher - The Transition from Montessori Parent
Having your own child in your Montessori classroom often presents its own unique set of challenges and concerns. Parents of other children may wonder if you can remain objective while you may worry if you will be too hard on your own child.
The key to having your own child in your classroom is to have clear and defined roles. My son and I discussed our roles and expectations before he began in the upper elementary classroom, and we agreed that he could call me Mom instead of Miss Michelle. Just as being a mom and a teacher were the roles I had, he too, was son and student. It was actually fun to watch him make that transition each day. He would help in my classroom before school, but once school started, he was with his friends and doing his work.
I thought that I may find it hard to discipline him in a balanced and objective manner. As a mom, I have certain expectations of his behavior and academics. Like all children, he pushed the limits to see how much he could get away with. He soon realized that if he came to lessons without his work, I would ask him redo it, just as I would any other child in class. If he was chatting with his friends or unfocused, I would ask him to make better choices, at times having to separate him and his friends.
It was tough at times when I knew he could do better, try harder, or choose more difficult work, but as I did with the rest of my students, I trusted that he would come into his own as he gained confidence. All I could do was follow his lead and present those lessons that were most interesting and appropriate for him. Being a Montessori mom and teacher allowed me to respect his need for independence and individuality.
As time went by, the parents in my room saw that my son was treated the same as the other students. He was held to the same standards and there was no favoritism. His friends knew that they received no special treatment from me either.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, November 26, 2013.