The Montessori Teacher/Guide
Hi I'm Alisa, local mum of 2 and a qualified Montessori Guide 0-6 years (AMI 0-3 and 3-6 Diplomas, completed in Jan and July 2018). My most important role as the Montessori Teacher/Guide is to carefully and thoughtfully prepare the classroom and the activities in a way that offers your child the maximum chance of success when exploring the activities independently. During the session I will be observing the children and when the opportunity naturally arises, and the child is interested, I may assist them 1-1 to further their interest in an activity or introduce them to a new activity, always encouraging them to grow in independence. My observations will help me adjust the classroom and activities for each session, ensuring it's tailored to your child's evolving needs. At the end of the session I will lead a sing song and bring the session to a gentle and natural close.
What is Montessori?
Montessori is a philosophy which has at its heart a deep respect for the child and their innate intelligence and capability. It was through observing the child follow their natural interests, fulfilling their own developmental needs, (often with great determination!) that Maria Montessori developed a set of guiding principles and activities that encourage the child to act for himself. The adult's role is to observe and follow the child - facilitating their development by giving them freedom of choice of carefully prepared activities that interest them and naturally fulfill their current developmental needs, allowing ample time and space for this to occur.
Who is Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori was a bit of trailblazer! Born in Italy she became the first woman in her country to study Medicine. She was a pioneering doctor, socialist and activist and through her work with children she developed the philosophy that is named after her. She observed how, when children were given freedom of choice and movement, and purposeful, self chosen activity that was interesting to them and they could carry out independently - they could reach greater levels of concentration, harmony and self discipline than previously thought possible in children. She was a champion of children and saw them as individuals, putting them at the centre of everything she did.
What should I expect?
In a Montessori baby or toddler classroom you should expect to see a range of beautiful and carefully prepared activities, largely made of natural materials, presented in a thoughtful and organised way to assist children with their choice making. Small children will be moving freely around the classroom, exploring the activities at their own pace with curiosity, determination and growing confidence and independence. The activities are organised into the areas of Movement, Language, Art and Music and practical life . Practical Life activities offer opportunities for the child to independently practice the skills of everyday life. In the toddler class, preparing their own snack and drink is a real highlight! At the end of the session we will gather together for a sing song.
Parents are usually sat low, observing their child, stepping in to provide support only when necessary, and connecting with other parents.