Write a comprehensive note on the role of a teacher in the Montessori classroom
The teacher in a Montessori classroom takes on a completely different role to a teacher in a traditional classroom - Write a comprehensive note on the role of a teacher in the Montessori classroom introduction. So much so, that directress or guide are preferred over the word teacher. The reason for this is that it is the teachers main role to guide the children and help the children in their learning. The teacher isn’t a person who pushes the child to learn when & what she wants them to learn. The teacher doesn’t cause the child to learn. They aren’t the conduit for knowledge that than flows into the child’s mind. The child’s active mind will do the learning on its own. Being a guide doesn’t just consist of just talking to the children. A guide must be aware of each child’s personality, how they work,what they are interested and which stage of development that are at. They must also understand child development and growth. The guide must also be aware of her behaviour and attitudes as well. The teacher is responsible for putting Montessori principles into practise in the classroom.
The environment in a Montessori classroom is also vitally important. It is the role of the teacher to prepare the environment to allow the learning process to happen naturally. A full understanding of the Montessori method is vital so she she can use the correct classroom materials and techniques to encourage the child’s learning. A teacher shouldn’t be the focal point in the environment she is creating. The learning materials very important and must cater for the needs and interests of the children in her class. She will usually be found working with an individual child or a couple at at time. It is very rare that the teacher will present a large group lesson. She may present a new lesson and observe and advise the students, as the priority is the child’s learning. She needs to meet as many needs as possible for as many students as possible each day. This is a big part of planning the environment because each child is an individual with different needs and are all at different developmental stages. Interests, desires and learning styles also differ immensely. It is important that all these factors and all students are considered when preparing an environment. When an enviroment is set up correctly students should be able to easily choose their own activities and find their own answers to problems with their teacher there to mentor and guide them. Students will be scattered through out a peaceful classroom, individually or in small groups of 2’s and 3’s, totally absorbed in working on appropriate activities for their stage of development. Often it can be difficult to pick out the teacher in the type of environment.
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A teacher in a Montessori classroom would normally be involved in the following activities through the course of a day. Preparation of the environment. This needs to be in line with the students in her class, the activities they are interested in and the stages of development they are at. She is the link between the environment and the child and is engaged actively between the two. The teacher is also responsible to keep the classroom in perfect condition. It is important that the children can make their own choices easily. The environment needs to be changed and updated whenever required. At times things will need to be added and at other times, things taken away. The teacher will experiment with the environment to work out what is needed to meet the needs of her children. Observing the child is vital in the Montessori classroom. By constantly observing the children, the teacher is able to understand their interests and tailor the environment to suit. All observations should be done in a systematic way and all observations must be noted. Through these observations the teacher is always aware of the children’s sensitive periods, their progress, needs & interests. She is always carefully noting the outcomes of her observations. A Montessori teacher will give only brief lessons. She does this with the simplest information needed to entice the child to work alone on the project that he is curious about. Her presentations need to be demonstrated in a clear and interesting fashion which is relevant to the child.
The way this all comes about is, the teacher will be watching the child as they explore the shelves & equipment to make their choice. She will go to the child and take consent to work with that particular material or piece of equipment. She will get the child to help take the material to an area where he will work and specify its place on the shelf. The teacher gives the child the rules for using that piece of equipment and gives a brief, precise demonstration of the things that can be done with that equipment. This demonstration is a brief introduction and an initial exploratory procedure. The child is encouraged to explore further on their own. The goal of Montessori is for the child to become independent and self disciplined. Presentations let the child investigate, work autonomously and at their own pace, moving on to the next step when they have achieved their objective, therefore helping to achieve independence as the child learns to use the materials & the classroom with a minimum amount of supervision and no interruptions.
The main purposes of a Montessori guide are to focus on the child rather than the lesson. She evaluates the child and his progress each day. Through these evaluations she is also discovering whether her preparation of the environment has been effective too. The teacher nurtures the child and inspires him to ask questions and be a thinker so he can discover and keep exploring for himself. She does all this in an atmosphere of warmth, safety, stability and friendship. She is the child’s mentor & coach. She learns when it is appropriate to offer help or set limits and when it is best to leave the child to himself. She needs to communicate with the child and encourage him to communicate with her. She is a role model for the children in the area of behaviour and consistency and also follows the classroom rules as an example to the child. It is her responsibility to report to parents and other staff on the progress of each child. The roles of a Montessori teacher are wide & varied and one where the child’s best interest is of the highest value.