Thursday, 19 May 2016

Moments of Wonder...
There are moments when you are working with children, that you just have to step back and wonder. Those moments when you are completely amazed by what is going on around you. It is too easy to get caught up with lesson plans and presentations that you forget the wonder of teaching. The fact that these children are learning so much from you.
This happened to me today.
I was doing a group lesson on soil erosion. I had just finished explaining that soil takes a long time to form and we need to respect it. Then two of the younger children in the group had comments that just made me smile and marvel at how incredible children can be. One child exclaimed "Yes, the soil is important, it has nutrients for the plants' and the other followed this with "And if there were no plants then there would be no oxygen for us to breathe". These were both five and a half-year-olds. I was stunned. I had to just sit quietly for a moment and marvel at their knowledge and understanding.
These are the moments that make being a teacher so worthwhile. I love it.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

What is Montessori to me?

What is Montessori? Is it a dinosaur? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it an expensive school down the road from you?
Montessori means many things to different people. To me, Montessori is a way of life. I have lived Montessori, even before I knew the name.
To be technical: Montessori is a method of education developed by Maria Montessori over a hundred years ago. Yet it is so much more.
Montessori is being able to marvel at the miracle of life, even when your miracle is throwing a tantrum that could wake sleeping beauty. Montessori is taking the chance to explain the difference between a moth and a butterfly while you are cooking a complicated dinner. Montessori is doing a happy dance when a child finally understands personification. Montessori is making the time for the little moments: the walks in the garden, the real-get-down-to-their-level-listening (even if only to hear the exciting news that they have a banana in their lunchbox) and yes, laughing at the knock-knock jokes you have heard a million and one times. Montessori is feeling refreshed after a complex lesson because you know the children enjoyed it. Montessori is science experiments (even if they don't work the way they were supposed to), playing in the dirt to learn about rocks, using 'pretty' beads to find square roots, making volcanoes just because we have vinegar and bicarb in the cupboard, being excited to go to school because you have a new phonogram to teach and just enjoying the learning process. Montessori is learning for life. It is not in a classroom or textbook. It is not even confined to children. I am a Montessori adult. Everyday I learn something new and I am excited by my life of learning. Today I learnt how to create a blog. Who knows what I will learn tomorrow...