Being a Montessori teacher

When I started being a Montessori teacher about a year and 10 months ago, I had challenges with classroom management and children not following the classroom rules, but I have learned that through repetition modelling, children do learn.

My passion has always been to teach children, especially younger children. I have learned that children reveal themselves through work. I have also learned that there is a difference between a Montessori teacher and a traditional school teacher. As a Montessori teacher I have to engage the interests of the child, and also follow the child. Every child does not have to learn the same things at the same time: children learn at their own pace individually. I have also learned that it is not enough for the teachers to give information to the children who are not paying attention. They are not paying attention because they are not interested. Maria Montessori wrote that “Understanding is not enough to be interested, interest is rooted in personality”.

Montessori is all about finding a balance between learning what is required and learning what interests the child as an individual. As a Montessori teacher, I learned that, every child is unique, every child is born with an inner capability to choose what is right for them at that time. The environment must always be prepared and ready, providing the right materials for the child to meet his/her developmental needs. The child has the freedom to choose any

material which allows children to discover their needs, interests and abilities and work independently and be responsible. Children learn things through doing things for themselves at school from Practical Life activities, and also at home by helping in the house and also practising what they have learned at school.

Children learn a great deal from Montessori environment and they also learn how to be independant. They also learn respect for oneself, for others and for the environment. They learn about nature by going outside in the garden and explore the outside world, they develop their senses, co-ordination and more through interaction with nature.

I love and enjoy being a Montessori teacher, because it is an experience and a learning curve for me through the children. As a Montessori teacher I discover and become myself as the children discover and become themselves.

By Nobantu.A.Khumalo