Monday, September 13, 2010

Jordan's Montessori Preschool Experience with Separation Anxiety: Insights & Reflections

NAMC montessori preschool experience with separation anxiety unhappy boy
This year long series looks at the experiences of teachers, parents, students, and Montessori education itself, as we follow a student through his first year at a Montessori Preschool. The Montessori Insights and Reflections of a Preschool Student’s First Year is a collection of useful stories, tips, and information that has arisen from one real student's Montessori journey, viewed through the eyes of his Montessori Teacher, Bree Von Nes.

Jordan’s Experience with Separation Anxiety
One never knows how a child is going to react to their first few days at Montessori preschool, especially if it is their first time being away from home. For Jordan, one of my three-year-old students, he had never been in any sort of daycare or preschool setting before, so this week is his first experience in a classroom setting, meeting a teacher and meeting peers his own age. Fortunately, Jordan had no problem saying goodbye to his Dad at drop off time and was excited to show me his new indoor slippers for the Montessori classroom. The aspect that troubled Jordan was seeing some of the other children upset.

Jordan's Montessori Preschool Experience with Separation Anxiety: Insights & Reflections

I glanced over at him while he was at his personal cubby getting his slippers on and could see his lip quivering and his eyes filling up with tears … definitely a sensitive little guy. I quietly approached him and talked to him about how he was feeling and explained that sometimes children have a hard time saying goodbye to their Mommies and Daddies but once they start feeling comfortable at preschool, they won’t feel so sad anymore.

I asked him if he would like to take my hand and sit beside me for circle time which he did. Once everyone was gathered together for circle, we talked a little about feeling sad and a few of the older children shared how they used to feel sad when they first started Montessori preschool. We talked about the drop-off and pick-up routine and I explained that pick-up time always happens after snack and outdoor playtime.

Knowing the Montessori classroom routine and feeling in control gives children such a sense of security. I also mentioned to the older Montessori students that if they notice one of the new students feeling upset, maybe they could offer to read them a book or do a special work with them at a floor mat to help them feel better. Jordan seemed much more at ease after the discussion and didn’t appear so anxious when he heard another child cry. In fact, the following day, he offered a little girl a tissue when she was crying - such a kind gesture!

Related NAMC blogs:
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 Monday, September 13, 2010.


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