Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Really Proud

At our school, we have several certified Montessori teachers for one large classroom. Each teacher has their slot to do a "topic" during the year, which means that they lead the circle times, and incorporate work having to do with whichever theme or subject they are teaching on into the classroom. Right now, I'm doing my topic, which is literature.

Yesterday, during the morning work time I walked into the kitchen where one of our four year olds was having snack. Seemingly out of nowhere, he said to me, "Miss Melissa, I'm really proud of you for getting up there on circle."

It was the most charming thing. Perhaps he senses that being the center of attention (not so much of the children, but more of the other teachers, and any parents that may be present) makes me feel a touch uncertain. I'm so fortunate to have so many sweet, charming children around me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Montessori Moms

I am young and unmarried. I have been a nanny, a big sister, a cousin, an aunt, and of course a Montessori teacher. I have plenty of confidence in my ability to provide excellent, developmentally appropriate care for children.

I have never confused this with an ability to be the sole caretaker for children 24 hours a day. I recognize that this takes far more energy, patience, and selflessness. This is why I am still not a mom. I love working with children, and then sending home to their moms and dads at the end of the day. I'll be honest - I like me. I like my uninterrupted sleep. I like being able to eat my breakfast while rushing around the house getting ready for the day if I wake up too late to sit down. I like being alone with my thoughts at the end of the day.

I am excited about the idea of having kids in the next several years, and am sure that motherhood will be both exciting and rewarding. I don't doubt that I will do just fine when I am a mom, but I'm glad that I'm not one now.

For the past week, I have been the stand-in for a mom who is out of the state on business. I am living in the child's house. Getting him up in the morning, and off to school with me (he goes to the school where I teach), taking him to swim lessons, etc. after school, then home. At home I'm making dinner, helping with bath, etc. and then putting him to bed.

I have a brand new kind of respect for Montessori moms. When you have ten minutes to get out the door, it's oh so tempting to call the child to you and let them stand passively while you dress them, and then take them by the hand and out the door and stick them in the car. However, the Montessori mom knows that this is not fair to the child. The Montessori mom gives the child time to choose his or her clothes, and then to dress and get their things together. Sometimes gentle reminders and tips as to what clothing is appropriate for the weather are needed, but the Montessori parent lets the child do everything within reason for him or herself. This is not easy when you have a schedule to meet!

You Montessori moms (and dads) out there know this, and yet you manage to meet your schedules on a daily basis.

The rest of us should stand in awe.