Not many people were aware of Montessori before they walked into a Montessori school or overheard a conversation about this philosophy of following the child. In my training class, a few weeks ago, we discussed our knowledge of Montessori. The instructor began with how many of you were aware of Montessori before you decided to become credentialed. A few us raised our hands. Then she asked a few questions and I wanted to share my answers with you.
Q: Were you aware of or heard about Montessori before you decided to take the training?
A: Yes. I was introduced to the philosophy during my early childhood education classes. I was curious and began to research it and used the ‘follow the child’ concept in my classroom. Allowing the child to have choices and freedom within limits was powerful paradigm shift in my approach of guiding children educationally.
Q: How would you define or describe Montessori?
A: Montessori to me is about being mindful of the child and guiding them into mindfulness of themselves and others.
• Being mindful of what they need and able to self-direct themselves to a work or activity that will give them the skills they need to function in the world.
Q: As a Montessori guide how does being mindful or mindfulness assist you in the classroom?
• A Montessori education is built on observations, discussion, connection, and responding to the needs of the child which assist the child in optimal growth and development which I define as mindfulness.
• Observations assist us in our planning/goal setting and intuition comes into play with the non-verbal actions.
• As a Montessorian, I am mindful of the prepared environment. To me, the prepared environment is my garden, I am the caretaker who observes and weeds out what isn’t necessary and add in items (age appropriate) to enrich and nourish the individuals growing and developing there.
• The biggest goals become the biggest outcome: dignity, worth and capabilities
I must say, after writing this blog, I am encouraged to continue to grow and be consciously mindful in all areas of my life. Montessori to me is a state of being and being in a mindful environment is an overall benefit to (as Maria says)” an education for life.”