From the Head (and the Heart)
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.