Saturday, January 7, 2012

From a teacher's perspective...

The new semester has begun.  I am happy that the students in our class have come back ready to work.  In the two short weeks that we were out of school subtle changes in the students have occured.  Some lost teeth, some grew taller, and some of them matured.

I have been working on mid year evaluations.  We don't give grades at our school at the elementary level.  We take a look at the progress children have made in their journey to becoming self confident, self sufficient, and self actualized adults.  It is about developing character.

As a teacher I spend time observing children's behavior.  The teachers in our school allow the students a certain amount of freedom.  We call it "freedom within limits."  We allow students to make reasonable choices within a range.  When they step off the appropriate path we gently nudge them back on to it.

I was a public school teacher before I became a Montessori guide.  One of the most remarkable differences is how well we get to know the students in the Montessori classroom.  When in public school I often heard teachers say about a challenging student, "Well, I only have him for a year, he will be someone else's problem next year."

In the Montessori tradition, children remain with the same teacher for 3 years.  It is an incredible responsibility.  The teachers help children develop academically but also personally, emotionally, morally, psychologically, and even spiritually. 

Montessori guides or teachers know their students better because of the three year cycle, the time allowed for observation, and because they develop long term relationships with the student and the family.

I was lucky enough to see some of my former students over the Winter Break.  What a treat this was for me.  Each one has developed passion, is pursuing dreams, and is courageous, confident, kind, comfortable in many situations, and on the road to an amazing life.   Isn't that what we all want for the children in our lives?

Many schools prepare students to get into college.  Montessori schools prepare students for life.


  1. Lovely thoughts! Thanks for emphasizing the benefits of the 3-year cycle for the teacher as well as the students. Thank you for linking up with Montessori Monday. (If you could add the Montessori Monday button or link back, that would be awesome!) I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

  2. Thanks Deb, I appreciate your comments. We are all linked up! Keep up the good work. Debbie