Essential Qualities in Your Montessori Classroom
1. The Montessori Learning Environment
- A Student-Centred Environment.
The focus of activity in the Montessori setting is on the child’s learning, not on the teacher’s teaching. There should be individual and small group lessons, with some opportunity for whole group activity.
- A Responsive, Prepared, Adaptive Environment.
An environment responsive to the child’s emergent needs is one designed for their interests, abilities and potential and continues to be responsive to the children’s needs and evolving interests.
- Individual Competence.
Within a Montessori setting, children strive to realize their own potential, solve their own problems, and master their own skills at their own pace.
2. The Montessori Learning Relationships
- Mixed Age Groupings.
In order to respond to the diversity of individual children’s developmental needs, classes group children across a three-year age span.
- Social Settings as a Community.
Learning with and from each other to develop the social skills that form a class community.
- Co-operation, Collaboration, Not Competition.
Children are encouraged to respect and support one another in their learning, and with their daily needs and experiences. Learning is a social process.
3. Montessori Learning Activity
- Hands-On Experience with Materials.
Children learn by actively working with the concrete materials that lead to abstract concepts.
- Spontaneous Activity.
The Montessori environment provides a setting in which children can explore, discover, and learn independently and with others.
- Active Learning.
Movement with purpose and control is central to learning.
- Self-Directed Activity.
Children construct their own intelligence. Concentration and engagement are enhanced by choosing their own activities from a carefully prepared curriculum.
- Freedom with Responsibility.
Freedom is given and earned. Self-discipline develops from the freedom and responsibility to appropriately choose their own activity.
- Intrinsic Motivation.
The drive toward competence is fuelled by the child’s natural curiosity and interest.
4. What the Montessori Teacher Is
The teacher responds empathetically to the children’s feelings and needs, while firmly establishing limits for the group.
The teacher is capable of observing, reflecting and planning for each child’s individualized progress.
The teacher is the resource to whom children may turn for help, in all areas of their development.
The teacher models the behaviours, values, and personal qualities which they seek to develop in their students.
5. What the Montessori Teacher Does
- Prepares the Environment.
The teacher creates and facilitates a sense of order, attractiveness and a joy of learning.
- Respectfully engages the Learner.
The teacher links the child to the environment, being aware of their cognitive, social, physical and moral development.
- Parent Partnership.
The teacher establishes the communication that builds the trust and respect between home and school.