After holding a conference for Montessori teachers to come and listen to my observations and suggestions, I thought it would be important to make a post of these thoughts in order for them to be reminders.
My main points include:
- Making sure to have clean and tidy materials and shelves
- Giving Montessori lessons as much as possible, no work books unless required
- Telling stories (Montessori and others)
- Giving children freedom to learn on their own
- Teaching in small groups
- All adults need to be on the same page about acceptable behavior, and respond when it is not acceptable
- Encourage practice of the lessons given with suggestions about how to follow up, until the children are able to independently choose
- Follow the child, observe the interests, and give lessons
- Help each other as teachers, come together to ask questions, problem solve, and share resources
- Observe each other teaching, and give input
Now for the material/organization suggestions:
- Need to have Montessori Charts and timelines
- Not all classrooms were grades 1-3, they need to be
- Children should work together, not individually all the time
- Should be writing at tables for posture
- Need to have reading books in the room, non-fiction and fiction
- Need loose paper for work: lined, grid, and blank
- Should have a specific place for snack, it should be an event, not happening all the time
- Make sure students are not playing with materials, but using them for their intended purpose
- Children should help with cleaning the classroom, and setting it up
- Have a place for each child to keep his/her work
- Should have pictures of other people and places around the world
- Should have some artwork displayed
- Could have different types of plants in the room
- Make sure children are encouraged to help each other, not just getting help from an adult
- Sit in a circle for a group, not lines. You are one family.
- Not all adults need to be teaching all of the time, should be observing and taking notes as well
- Make sure to give a variety of lessons from all subjects, tell stories, ask questions, and have resources for the children to research from
Overall, I suggest reviewing albums in order to know the lessons and also the philosophy. I also note that there will need to be another Thailand AMI training, because many of the teachers are not yet trained.
I suggest an AMI global art and craft exchange, so that people from around the world can share their culture’s art in Montessori classrooms elsewhere.
Finally, do your very best. Keep going, you are all inspired and beautiful guides believing in this kind and intelligent way of educating children. Know that you are not alone, but that you have the support of Montessori teachers around the world. Ask for help.
I am grateful to have met all of you. Thank you for loving me and accepting me into your world. It has been a pleasure to work with you. I have loved sharing my experience and my knowledge with you as we collaborate in this education. We are now connected by this beautiful philosophy, know that I am thinking of you and wishing you well.