The atmosphere and feeling one should experience when entering a Montessori School.
You are entering a “Children’s House” this is a child’s place, a place where children are safe, secure and confident, and where a child’s needs come first.
2) The person, usually the Director, who is guiding you should be speaking in a low voice, respecting the children and teachers.
3) The children will notice you, some may greet you, some may be inquisitive as to why you are there…this may be seen as interrupting but this questioning is respected by the Director and teacher and a child’s questions are answered matter of factly. A child’s curiosity comes first, and no question is too silly or dismissed. You may see the Director or teacher redirect the child back to their activity.
4) You will feel and see a general camaraderie, children chatting in low voices, working together or individually on many different activities. Coming and going at will, eating snack or going to the bathroom.
5) You will see the Teacher giving individual or group lessons, you will see her/him having an overview perspective and observing children. The teacher may be moving about, offering help, guidance and giving individual or group lessons and demonstrations.
6) A big part of a Montessori teacher’s job is observing the child, encouraging independence and freedom of choice. You will see her/him start children off on an a activity and then move on to another child, encouraging them to work independently but alway there to answer any questions.
8) You will see the Teacher working on the floor or at a table with a child, at a child’s level.
10) You will notice an uninterrupted “work period” of time usually 3 hours where the children are free to work on one activity or many activities.
13) You will see that a child will know where to find an activity or any thing she/he may need.
15) You will see that a Teacher will not offer praise but instead will carefully observe and describe a child’s work or activity. You will notice that children do not experience failure, but experience practice.
16) You will find notice the respectful way the children ask each other for materials, and the respect they show of each and every child’s space.
20) You will find an environment that supports, encourages and empowers the child in every way.
Empower the child.