It may take a moment to spot the teachers within the environment.
The Montessori teacher’s role is quite different from the role played by teachers in many schools. They are generally not the center of attention, and they spend little time giving large group lessons. Their role centers around the preparation and organization of appropriate learning materials to meet the needs and interests of each child in the class. Montessori teachers will normally be found working with one or two children at a time, advising, presenting a new lesson, or quietly observing the class at work. The focus is on children learning, not teachers teaching. Children are considered as distinct individuals in terms of their interests, progress and growth, and preferred learning style. The Montessori teacher is a guide, mentor and friend.
Students will typically be found scattered around the classroom, working alone or with one or two others. The children become so involved in their work; visitors tend to be amazed at the peaceful atmosphere.
Montessori teachers goal is to intrigue the children, so they will come back on their own for further work with the materials. Lessons center around the simplest information necessary for the children to do the work on their own: the name of the materials, its place on the shelf, the ground rules for is use, and what can be done with it.
The teachers present the materials and lessons with precision. They demonstrate an initial exploratory procedure; encouraging the children to continue to explore further on their own. These presentations enable children to investigate and work independently. The goal is for the child to become self-disciplined, able to use the materials and manage the classroom without minimal adult intervention.
Children progress at their own pace, moving on to the next step in each area of learning as they are ready. Initial lessons are introductions, after which the children repeat the exercise over many days, weeks, or months until they attain mastery. Interest leads them to explore variations and extensions inherent within the design of the materials at many levels over the years.
Dr. Montessori believed that teachers should focus on each child as a person, not on the daily lesson plan. Montessori teachers are taught to nurture and inspire the human potential, leading children to ask questions, think for themselves, explore, investigate, and discover. Our ultimate objective is to help the child learn how to learn independently, retaining the curiosity, creativity, and intelligence with which they were born. Montessori teachers do not simply present lessons; they are facilitators, mentors, coaches, and guides. To underscore the very different role played by adults in her schools, Dr. Montessori used the title Directress instead of teacher. In Italian, the word implies the role of the coordinator or administrator of an office or factory. Today, many Montessori schools prefer to call their teachers guides.
Sources: Tim Seldin- International Montessori Council- Anne Burke Neubert, in A Way Of Learning (1973), listed the following elements in the special role of the Montessori teacher
Adm1n September 20th, 2016
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