Today is the pre-launch day for The Professional Online Montessori Training Course starting 10th October 2016, and I was thinking deeply of how I could communicate to you, my deep love, belief and absolute gratitude of the privilege of becoming a Montessori Teacher and Trainer.
Those who know a little bit about me know that I never wanted to become a teacher, far from it, I actually ran away from the thought at every turn in my life, until I could run no more. That was when the Montessori way was thrust upon me, like a new dawn, awakening every yearning of meeting the needs of every child crying out for help!
Children are the future of every society, nation and civilization. At the end of the day, if we do not take care of them, everything will depart, fall apart and disintegrate into nothing. I pray that this will not be our portion. Instead we should look to meeting the ageless cry of the child.
They are saying everyday: ‘Please show me how to do it. Let me do it myself. I can do it myself, just give me a chance. I know I am slower than you are, but see, my hands and feet are smaller than yours. You have been moving around for years. But I, have just started learning to walk and run. I can do it mum. I can do it dad. If only you will give me a chance to try. Don’t get impatient with me because I keep doing things over and over again. I only do that because this is my way of making sure I learn how to do it the way you do it, properly. Please don’t shout,mummy. You are scaring me, I didn’t know I was not sitting on the toilet seat properly, just show me what to do and I will practice doing it until I get it right…’
As I listen to the voices of the children in my mind’s eye, my eyes begin to well up with tears. If only, as adults, we really understood the child, wouldn’t our lives be less stressful? This is what Montessori brings to the table of parenting and education. A deep understanding of the development, nature, psychology and needs of the child. The goal is to provide a safe nurturing environment, that meets the childs needs so that they can grow and blossom the way they were really intended to be.
Children have a specific agenda in place, that God has endowed them with, they want to learn, they actually need to learn, so we as adults, do not need to force them to learn. Yet we find ourselves getting frustrated with children daily, as parents and teachers, because they are not interested in learning.
My submission to you is that the children refuse to learn, because we insist on teaching them in ways that are not beneficial to the child for learning. Why do we keep teaching children to memorize everything, instead of helping them to understand the things they see before them?
What Montessori brings to the table is also an understanding of the best way a child wants to learn. Children want to understand their environment, they want to learn to do things that the adults do. Contrary to our beliefs and thinking, children actually want to learn how to sweep and mop, they want to help us in the kitchen and when we do the laundry. They are not too small to learn. Both at home and school it is important to let the children learn to do things that they see others do, to keep the environment clean, look after themselves and behave properly. Show them how and they will learn by doing.
This promotes self-confidence and independence, it also allows the child to gain a lot of motor skills which will help them to develop physically in the right way and enable them to be strong for the task of reading and writing. I know it may be difficult to understand how doing house chores like sweeping, or learning to button their shirts themselves can lead to skills that will aid reading and writing, but it is true.
Think about it for a moment. In order for a child to sweep a room properly, he would need to get a broom and dustpan for the job at hand, that is the beginning of the process, he must decide his starting point and know where his ending point to collect the rubbish is. Once the task is completed, he collects the rubbish into the dust pan and empties it into the dustbin, this the medial point of the process. He ends the process of sweeping by returning the broom and dustpan to the proper place where he got them to start with.
These kind of activities teach the child that there is order, a sequence in doing things, children need to be able to sequence things together in-order to think properly and read. Using your hands and fingers also strengthens the hands for the work that needs to be done, when writing and typing. I don’t know if you remember, but I do, when I was in primary and secondary school, I remember how much my hands ached from writing notes, and I used to sweep and mop at home,but these activities started when I was ten plus. Start them much younger, if you don’t nowadays, you may find it very difficult for them to want to do anything much once they are past the age of five!
I am so grateful that I found Montessori, and I must tell you I am not a shiny eyed wont try or listen to any other method but Montessori person. I consider myself a progressive Montessori educator, but having said that, I still maintain that Montessori is the best way to actually meet the child half way and help them to become all they need to be.
A Teacher’s job is a very important one, without you the society will not be able to grow and evolve, the evolution of society is in the child who will later become the adult. This child needs to be handled with care and the true understanding of his needs.
The Montessori Method actually speaks this language of the child and his needs. I believe that through good parenting and true Montessori schools we will be able to meet children’s needs and help them to become every thing they have been born to achieve. Instead of thinking Montessori is different we must understand that it is the Universal Language of the Child.
For information about the launch of the Online Professional Montessori Training please visit our Training page here.