The one thing that frustrated me the most when I was in college was the feeling that this “theory” and “philosophy” is all well and good, but how do I apply it? How do I make it work?
I felt the same way when became a Montessori lead teacher in my first Montessori classroom. I understood the philosophy behind normalization and deviations, but how would I put it to practical use when the time came to approach a child who was misbehaving. What would I do? What would I say? I cannot stress enough the importance of observing veteran Montessori teachers. Even today, I am in awe of those gracious and courteous mentors. In their Montessori classrooms I could experience a place where every child was actively engaged and working and not a soul spoke above a hushed whisper. There was a sense of peace and harmony and I felt that I could dwell there forever. These are the Montessori teachers I sought out to be my mentors. These were my role models and I frequently found myself asking them for practical advice when it came to redirecting student behavior.
Redirecting student behavior in a Montessori classroom relates to how a Montessori teacher interacts with a child when she is misbehaving. Because of the importance placed on the well-prepared environment and well-prepared teachers, there should be relatively little misbehavior when the teacher is experienced and the children are normalized.