The Montessori Teacher

As you observe the Montessori method of teaching, you'll quickly notice how different it is from the traditional elementary school setting. You won't find the typical rows of chairs filled with students attentively listening to the teacher trying hard to absorb the knowledge. Instead, you'll find the teacher preparing the classroom environment in order that the children can actively discover knowledge. Once this has been accomplished, the teacher is prepared to link the child to the environment as a participant.

The ultimate goal of the teacher is to be a guide for the children. The younger the child at each level however, the more active the teacher in terms of demonstrating the use of materials as well as explaining activities based on the assessment of the child's needs. As the child becomes more active in participating, the teacher can now become more of an observer but ready to step in when something new needs to be introduced.

Knowing when to observe and when to "step in" is something the Montessori teacher is trained to know. Through this training the teacher knows when it's time to allow the child to move on to a more difficult task or when the child might need assistance.

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