Saturday, August 25, 2012

Am I Montessori Material?

A couple of readers have written or commented lately to ask questions as they consider whether or not they're cut out to be Montessori guides. Here were my thoughts on the most recent:

Catalina wrote:
I'm passionate about the Montessori method, but have never had to take care of any child, so I don't know how to answer the question: Do you like to work with children? All I know is that I love this method and the idea of contributing to a great development for children excites me. I was just wondering, though, if I'm the right person to become a Montessori Teacher (3-6). Would you (could you) formulate a few questions for me to answer maybe as a guide to discover if I am meant to do a job like this? 
 Hi Catalina,

Part of me thinks your lack of experience with children might make you an ideal person for the role of Montessori guide. Someone like me, who worked with children for many years before discovering the wisdom of the Montessori approach, has old habits that must be undone. Especially in the year immediately following my training, I had to constantly remind myself not to offer help that wasn't needed, not to comment incessantly on children's work, etc. To be able to begin your work with children only after having already studied Montessori's ideas seems like a wonderful thing. 

I would be quite surprised if you thoroughly enjoyed learning about the fascinating, absorbent mind of the child but did not enjoy working with children, so I already have a sense that you would love this work. That said, I think the only way to answer your question for certain would be to spend some time with children. Is there a Montessori school within a reasonable distance from you? I would recommend setting up an observation, or if you are really seriously considering Montessori education as a future career, even volunteering your time on a semi-regular basis if your schedule allows. Of course you could also seek out friends or family members with children if possible and offer yourself as a babysitter or tutor just to see how you enjoy caring for children in that capacity. I know you were looking for questions you might ask yourself, but this is one I don't think can be answered in the mind alone. You just have to give it a try!

Best wishes to you!


2 comments:

Montessori Moms said...

Yes, it is very difficult to "unlearn" old habits. That might actually be a good topic to write about... how do school teachers with years of training "unlearn" the bad habits and become good Montessori teachers?

Zach Thalman said...

I have been reading up on Montessori teaching and I am really interested in letting my children try this out. I would like to know what the difference is between teaching I was taught from and this newer style of teaching. This looks like a really good program for my children and I want them to have the best for their future.

Zach Thalman | http://www.nicholasmontessorischool.com