Saturday, August 11, 2012
For the last week my co teachers and I have been setting up our brand new classroom. Funny thing is that it is in a classroom where we have all taught before. We are opening boxes of brand new materials, setting up a brand new environment, planning brand new lessons, expecting brand new children, sharing this brand new experience. It is so exciting and yet a bit overwhelming.
My co teachers and I have joined a new school. We have all known each other for years and have taught together before, so I am grateful for that sense of community. We are sharing two big rooms and there is a lot that goes into setting up a Montessori environment.
We have been thoughtful about shelf placement, number of desks vs. amount of floor space, seating arrangements, natural lighting, creating attractive arrangements of the materials, and the all important sequence; left to right, top to bottom, concrete to abstract, big picture to smallest details. Our environment is beginning to look beautiful. There is a cohesive design between the two rooms.
There are many new things for us to learn. Computer programs, strategic intent, names, who to direct our questions to, how to get help when we need it, and how to call in sick are just a few of the things we need to know.
So we are putting in a lot of time with just these items in order to be ready for the first day. That will bring the brand new students who we will form relationships with, getting to know their learning styles, their preferences, and their strengths and challenges.
As a seasoned professional this whirlwind of activity has been exciting, exhausting and at times a bit frustrating. I am sure students feel this way when in a new school or even just a new class. New teachers, new procedures, new subjects and new friends all take an adjustment period.
This exercise in "newness" has reminded me how the students feel. I love Montessori because we can take the time to process and adjust to all the experiences that come our way. I plan on being patient this year. I am on a learning curve and so are the students. I like to group 3 words together as a mantra for the year. This year I will be
patient, persistent, and positive.
So go buy brand new school supplies, brand new school clothes, and be ready for brand new lessons. Choose 3 words that will help you focus. I will look back on the 2012 - 13 school year and say that
I was patient, persistent, and positive with every challenge, person, and lesson. Our students all grew academically and personally. It was an outstanding experience!