The needs of a Montessori classroom are every-changing. A good Montessori educator pays attention, and adjusts accordingly. Here are my 5 New Years resolutions for my classroom.
Keep better notes.
It doesn’t matter how much I write down about what I observe in my classroom. There is always more to be written. I currently keep track of lessons I give to children, and how those lessons are received. I try to keep track of which lessons need to be repeated, and where they are excelling. I watch their interactions with other children, and their environment. But, it never seems like enough!
I try to sit down for five to ten minute periods of time in between lessons to reflect on what was just presented, as well as to capture a snapshot of what is happening at that time. I could probably just sit and write all morning, and I would never capture all of the information. But it is important to do as much documentation as you can, to back up your shared observations in conversations with administration and parents. My New Years resolution is to continue to strive to find more productive ways of gathering and recording such information.
Learn more about child development and issues.
I have been taking child development courses since I was in high school. I know what is age-appropriate for children in my care. But with an ever-growing population of children with special needs, those developmental milestones must be shifted.
Educators today need to be aware of a variety of issues plaguing children, including autism, sensory processing, ADHD, learning disabilities, and so much more. The better educated you become, the better you can serve your population as a whole.
I find such diagnoses to be absolutely fascinating. I also find knowledge and understanding of them to be absolutely essential, so that I can lay a strong foundation for each child to maximize his or her potential. My New Years resolution is to learn more about those issues facing the children currently in my classroom.
Keep kids engaged.
Society today is an “On-Demand” society. People are used to instant results. Repetition is not an option, as people crave rapid change. My goal is to counter societal pressures and get my kids back to the fundamentals of Montessori. They need to develop a love for learning, at a slower pace that is appropriate to their own learning styles. They need to realize that repetition is okay. In fact, it is necessary to them being able to learn.
My goal is always to hook them by delivering an inspirational presentation. Then, I need to empower them to know that they can conquer any challenge they may face in the classroom. I need to trust in their abilities and creative instincts. They need to trust that I will never give them a task they cannot handle. Though I strive to do this on a daily basis already, my New Years resolution is to become even better at it.
Communicate more with parents.
Short of being a fly on the wall, parents never know enough about what is going on in their child’s classroom. And children are notorious for always telling their parents that they did absolutely nothing all day long. I try to send home at least one note a week, mentioning something that a child specifically did. I encourage study of Montessori, and try to share articles. I am always willing to answer parent questions and engage them in conversation. Some of them even read my blog on my website, which gives them even more insight. But some just need more information. My New Years resolution is to become more diligent about doing this.
Spread the Montessori word.
I grew up in Montessori. I always knew that when I became a teacher, I would only work in Montessori classrooms. And, it has always been my dream to bring the beauty of Montessori education to the masses. Conveniently, I was able to fulfill part of that dream by the joys of the Internet and online writing. I finally started my own website and Facebook page that both share information about Montessori. My New Years resolution is to keep that process going.