Value over words: Montessori teachers are specially trained
Montessori is not just a method of teaching. It is a philosophy of learning. In Australia, Montessori teachers must fulfil two criteria – a government-mandated teaching qualification and a Montessori teaching certificate.
For Maria Montessori, the teacher is not just an instructor of knowledge. The fundamental roles of the teacher are to guide children to normalisation and concentration and to help them in their development afterward (Dr. Maria Montessori, ‘The Development of the Child’).
Montessori Schools in Perth, like Casa Mia Montessori School, only employ Montessori-trained and qualified teachers. A Montessori teacher learns about Montessori philosophy, child development, and didactic development materials. They learn in classrooms, practice in workshops and participate in class observations.
Values over words
Montessori is about internalising virtues, not words. To understand how each child learns at the different stages of development, it is important that the Montessori teacher develops moral alertness, tranquillity, patience, charity, and humility (Dr. Maria Montessori, ‘The Discovery of the Child’, p. 151). The teacher cannot perform his/her role without these values.
Montessori trained teachers take pride in their work because they understand the role they play in shaping the child’s personality and in guiding the child to his/her personal journey of lifelong learning and inquiry.
Didactic materials and prepared environments
Montessori teachers are trained to handle the didactic materials used in Montessori Education. All teachers learn to:
a) Keep didactic development materials in perfect order so that the child will want to interact with it.
b) Prepare the environment for learning, review it, and make changes to improve on it.
Supporting independent inquiry
In guiding the child to use the materials, the teacher performs two roles. The first is to invite the child’s interest in the material. The second is to intervene when the child is ready, to help him/her develop understanding.
Developing concentration and focus is unique to the Montessori approach. It is through this process that characteristics of an independent lifelong learner are developed. To support the child, Montessori teachers are trained not to interfere when the child is engaged in learning. Instead, the teacher observes and takes notes. The teacher intervenes only when the child has successfully completed the task to help him/her develop understanding. Through observations, the teacher develops strategies to help both weak and good students. The teacher understands every child’s learning ability is different and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning.
All Casa Mia Montessori is managed by a teacher and a teaching assistant. To find out more about our unique teaching methods, visit our school today and observe how our teachers work with our students to help them become better learners.