Without a doubt, it takes a special kind of person to be a teacher. You have to enjoy the kids, the environment, the long hours, and all of the extras that go along with being a teacher, such as after-school programs. Every good teacher should get the respect they deserve.
Many adults know very well that they could never be a teacher. All of those kids running around who are each vying for attention, their little minds eager to be taught. It’s a daunting task for anyone. But even fewer adults would be comfortable as teachers in Montessori education because…well, let’s just take a look at some of the special attributes that a Montessori teacher has to learn.
YOU HAVE TO BE FLEXIBLE
Despite what rumors persist, there are lessons in Montessori preschool. But sometimes those lessons have to be put on hold when particular teaching moments arise. Did one of the children find a dead cicada when they were outside? Did one of them lose a great-grandparent recently? Sometimes the lessons have to be set aside for a bit when something that might benefit the child just as much (or more) comes up.
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO SLOW DOWN
When it comes to teaching, it’s important to be able to slow down and ensure that kids have properly absorbed what is being offered. Adults are often interested in presenting something, asking kids if they get the idea, and then building up on it. But when you ask kids if they understand, most of them are so interested in pleasing an adult that they won’t admit it when they don’t grasp a concept. Sometimes Montessori teachers have to be able to slow down and pick up on the cues that the kids are giving them.
YOU MIGHT HAVE TO LET THEM FAIL
Most people, especially parents, have a hard time letting kids fail. Because most adults have the answers to a preschooler’s questions, it makes them feel good to be able to answer those simple questions easily and quickly. The adult is satisfied, but the child did nothing to gain the information and was robbed the opportunity of figuring out the answer on their own.
One of the important life-lessons that Montessori education teaches kids is that it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to not get the right answer the first time. It’s important to allow children to make those mistakes while still giving them the support they need to find the right answer. The joy of discovery is something that will stay with them forever and will ensure that they can bounce back from mistakes.
YOU CAN’T JUMP ON THE LATEST BANDWAGON
Montessori education has over 100 years of scientific evidence behind it, and these methods continue to hold up in a way that few of the modern ways do. And while it can be tempting to use a lot of technology in the classroom to keep up with publics schools, most of the time it’s simply better to use the traditional Montessori methods to shape the way in which kids learn.
The Montessori method was devised long before the technological marvels that we carry around with every day. We understand that technology can fit in very well with middle school and high school classes, but kids can get their screen time at home and focus more on learning when they’re in our Montessori classes.
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WORKING WITH MIXED-AGE KIDS?
Montessori preschool can last from age 33-months all the way up to six year. Most adults would have an issue with this, thinking that kids of such varying ages couldn’t possibly get along and learn together. But the fact is, it works very well, despite what most adults might think!
IT’S HARD TO SEE THEM LEAVE
One of the hardest parts of being a Montessori teacher is seeing kids leave the program. This might be because they have no Montessori school to go to after leaving Montessori preschool. We know the benefits of Montessori, and believe that it’s a great fit for kids throughout their education process.
While it can be difficult to see them leave, we are at least happy that we have helped them get off on the right foot with learning methods that they can use in public school. They’ll be able to absorb the new style of learning in the public school because they’re been exposed to so many types in Montessori.
YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT ALL THE TIME!
If you tell someone that you’re a preschool teacher, they have a pretty good idea of what you do. They imagine you helping kids learn their ABCs, help kids with art and math, and give them lots of playtime.
But if you tell people that you’re a Montessori preschool teacher, they might not quite understand. For as long as Montessori has been around, you might think that everyone would understand it, but it’s simply not the case. It can be difficult to try to explain the difference to people in a short amount of time, and frustrating when people get the wrong impression of it. Sure, it’s a great opportunity to dispel some myths about Montessori, but it can also be difficult to have to explain yourself so often!
As you can see, teaching at a Montessori preschool isn’t for everyone. Adults love to be in complete control, and ceding even a little bit of control to anyone else — especially someone so much younger than you! — can be a challenge. But once you understand why and how the Montessori methods works, it can be a lot easier to let the children take control of their own learning and assist them as needed. If Peaceful Valley Montessori Academy sounds right for your child, be sure to contact us today!