The Montessori method of learning poses different challenges to a teacher. The role of Montessori teachers is very different from the role of a mainstream teacher. It follows, then, that the challenges of being a Montessori teacher is also different. To pick up some helpful tips on how you can become a good Montessori teacher, it is important to understand the Montessori method of education first.
The Montessori method is a more hands-on learning experience for children. This method was designed by Maria Montessori and dates back to the 19th and 20th century. In a Montessori school, the children receive less guidance from teacher. The teacher is not an instructor, as in the primary education method more commonly used. The teacher is just a guide as the student more or less learns on his own.
The very core of the Montessori method of learning is how the children is able to learn on his own pace. He will not have to catch up with the lessons and face difficulty in case he is slacking behind. The way he studies and learns will be adapted to the development of his personality. This method aims to fill in his needs as he grows step by step. As such, the Montessori method does not use grades to measure a child’s performance. His performance is weighed based on his strengths and weaknesses. Then, the child goes on to try and overcome the weaknesses.
Because the learning environment is very important to a child’s development, it is also very important in the Montessori method of learning. The classrooms should have an atmosphere that is susceptible to studying and growing. This is where the Montessori teacher plays a key role. The teacher should be able to create an environment that can stimulate a child’s learning process. Most teachers decorate classrooms with plants, because these make the environment look and feel more natural.
To be effective, teachers should learn how to understand each unique developmental process of each child. One child differs from another. His needs are unique, and his pace is also entirely his own. One child can be ready for higher learning, while another may be a bit behind. The teacher should learn to balance all these differences inside one classroom.
One very effective technique to be a good Montessori teacher is the use of educational manipulative materials. Manipulative materials are objects that are meant to be physically touched by students. These tend to develop more aspects of a child’s personality than just his mental ability. Montessori teachers should be prepared with a lot of manipulative materials that are useful for what the child is currently learning. Manipulative materials are also very stimulating, and the physical activity that it requires captures the learner and encourages him to actively learn.
There are lots of other techniques to become a good Montessori teacher. However, the most important trait that Montessori teachers should have is adaptability. He or she should be able to adapt to the students’ personalities, levels, differences, pace, and various needs.
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