Posts Categorized: From the Head (and the Heart!) of School
Our Teachers Really Shine
The image many of us have of teachers is of the nice lady in the cardigan standing by a desk decorated with apples. Thankfully, that’s not what MSH teachers do. What our teachers do is so much more complicated, and I am incredibly grateful for what they do for our children every day.
Montessori teachers do not aspire to be the sage on the stage. They are highly trained to facilitate, assist, and guide. The teachers at MSH anticipate and plan for students, thereby creating an engaging and nurturing environment for learning. Everyday in the classroom they create a beautiful symphony of learning.
Our teachers know their material. They know it so deeply and intimately that they can break it down for students into its essential parts and impart it to their students almost wordlessly. Making the complicated simple is no easy task. It’s much easier to have children recite facts and memorize ideas than it is to inspire a child to deduce that information through experience. Because our teachers take the time and energy to let the child learn for herself, it becomes a part of the child never to be forgotten.
Our teachers may not be on the stage, but they do have to always be “on.” There is no downtime for a teacher: no lunch break, no time-out, no hiding in the cubicle. Every moment our teachers have young eyes upon them. These eyes are learning just as much if not more from what the teachers do as what they say. Every conversation, every moment for a Montessori teacher must be thoughtful, kind, and instructive.
Montessori teachers are constantly curious. They are life-long learners and continually growing in their profession. Sometimes it’s formal instruction about brain development or new materials. Other times it’s the daily learning from getting to know their students deeply from observation. They know they can only help their students grow by growing themselves.
Our teachers are incredibly patient, but that patience comes from the optimism of knowing that the child will be successful. Our teachers give children the time they need to be successful. They know that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is reading comprehension. Those great accomplishments happen by small victories every day along the way. Our teachers know and trust the method.
Montessori teachers are always the best supporting actor, but never the star. The children are the stars in the classroom. That is why Montessori teachers (and specifically, MSH teachers) are the very best teachers. Our teachers demonstrate a rare, nuanced technique which is always for the glory and recognition of their students. I hope you will join me in thanking them May 4-8 for Teacher Appreciation Week. They are what makes MSH such a wonderful place for children to learn and grow.
We are so excited to have you join us tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10 for Children’s Sharing Night. Sharing night offers you an opportunity to see the classroom through your child’s eyes.
Rather than focusing on the list of what not to do on sharing night, e.g. don’t prompt your child, avoid generalizing praise, don’t correct mistakes, here’s the recipe for enjoying your sharing night experience and ensuring that you get the best view of what your child is actually learning.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes so you can get into and out of the child size chairs if you have a toddler or primary student. Praise the effort, not the result. “You put a lot of work into that” will take your child farther in life than “You are so smart.” Give your child your quiet, undivided attention. Listen, watch and relax. Here are a few questions to ask your child to get the most of our sharing night.
- How do you choose a work?
- What is your favorite (math, language, sensorial) work?
- Does your room have a peace corner? Can you show me?
- What is your favorite area of the classroom? Why do you like this area?
- What is the most challenging work you have completed recently?
- Which work did you have a lesson on recently?
And best of all, before you leave sharing night please ask your child, “Will you give me a lesson?” The confidence your child will gain from sharing her own expertise will be immeasurable. We look forward to seeing you!
We know the options some of you are weighing this time of year. You hear the Siren’s call of public school or you want an option that’s more convenient and requires less driving time. And the hardest for us to hear is that you want to stay, but you are worried about transition. If you have to go eventually, you think you might as well go now. While all of these reasons have their logic, we hope you will consider why you chose MSH in the first place.
Montessori education fosters a love of learning. Our students are presented with a myriad of lesson options everyday, and they can experience new concepts through all of their senses. Teachers guide students through learning instead of marching them through a curriculum at a pre-determined pace that may be too fast or too slow for a student’s specific needs. Lessons here are individualized, and your child is able to realize his/her full potential.
Our program educates your whole child. While math and reading are at the heart of our learning, our students also are learning how to resolve conflicts, tend a garden, care for a pet, console a friend, understanding where his or her food comes from, managing a grocery budget and so many other lessons that prepare your child for life, not just a multitude of mandated standardized test.
We hope you choose to stay with Montessori because when you look at current trends in education, the latest research really is not all new. Brain-based learning, the maker movement, inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, motivation theory, the importance of movement, green education, and the list goes on, is inherent in Dr. Maria Montessori’s work. The common core curriculum does not strike fear in the heart of Montessori teachers because they have been teaching children to look at problems from different perspectives for more than one hundred years.
However, the main reason we think you should stay with MSH just a little bit longer is because we work everyday to ensure that your child becomes a capable, confident, compassionate and creative thinker. All the teachers and staff are here because they believe so deeply in the need to nurture future leaders of the world. It is no longer enough to learn for the sake of knowledge. We are here to teach children to create, reason, problem-solve and most of all, lead. We hope you will decide in the weeks to come that you would like to stay on the journey with us…just a little bit longer.