Understanding Montessori: The Teacher

The Montessori teacher is trained to observe carefully, to know the different needs of her children and to provide a properly prepared environment for the children’s maximum growth. She demonstrates the correct use of the many complex classroom materials, and guides without interfering with the child’s experience. She ensures that each child progresses through the activities of each curriculum area in the classroom. She encourages the hesitant child, engages the wandering child, and sets limits for the adventurous child, all while keeping enthusiasm and curiosity alive in the classroom. She is there when she is needed, but “invisible” when she is not.

Becoming a Montessori teacher is a lengthy process, that involves specialized training at a certified training center. Students participate in hands-on experiential learning, get a greater understanding of the philosophy behind each and every material in the classroom, write papers, and create original lessons for the different curriculum areas. They also need to complete a year-long internship in a qualified classroom, and are observed in the classroom by visiting instructors and mentors.

The training year, however, is just the beginning. A Montessori teacher knows that she, herself, is a lifelong student and she will continue to learn for many years to come. She will attend professional development conferences and workshops, but some of her greatest learning will come from her very own classroom. For the Montessori teacher understands that while she may be the guide, the child is one of our greatest teachers.

Dr. Montessori believed that learning is an individualized experience — each child is encouraged to learn for himself — and that children are motivated to learn by a natural curiosity and a love for knowledge. Therefore, early childhood education should cultivate the child’s own natural desire to learn — to teach him how to learn, rather than memorize and recite. The Montessori teacher is charged with the task of watching a child for signs of readiness, guiding him to the materials that will meet his developmental needs, and introducing him to concepts that will build on his established foundation for maximum success.

Each child is different, therefore each child’s classroom experience is unique. It takes a trained teacher, with a love of learning, to ensure that each child’s needs are met. To learn more about the teachers at Children’s House, click here.

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