As a teacher, you have surely heard about Dr. Maria Montessori and her different approach to early childhood education. Her unique method of teaching encourages teachers to view kids and classroom education as more than just a common teacher-student relationship. Teachers who support her approach are more focused on respecting each child's individual differences, therefore managing to teach social and emotional skills in a more nurturing environment. If you also believe that each kid has their own internal guidance for the development and that you are here only to be their guide and remove obstacles from learning, there are several ways you can give lessons like a true Montessori teacher.
Don’t sit across the table
When working with a child, most teachers sit across the table. However, if you wish to give a lesson like a Montessori teacher, make sure you sit on the same side. Even better, if the child is right-handed, sit on their left side and vice versa. This way the little one will be able to see the work from your point of view.
Do not raise your voice
Remember, you are not a direct instructor, you are a guide. When you are interacting with materials the child should be focused on your hands, so try to speak very quietly and only when needed.
Arrange activities from left to right
If your student is working with materials, arrange them from left to right. By learning them to start with those that are on the left and then move on to those on the right you are preparing a child for reading and writing, which is oriented from left to right as well.
Before the kids arrive you need to prepare the classroom based on your careful observation of each child. This area should offer learning opportunities that interest the child, so consider getting educational Montessori toys. When the kids engage in their activity of choice, allow them to learn at their own pace. There is no need to motivate them with various tools since the little ones are already driven by their need for discovery.
Show your appreciation
To teach kids to properly take care of the materials instead of throwing them on the floor or intentionally destroying them, show how much you care about those materials. Do not be afraid to exaggerate your movements to show kids that those materials are special.
Don’t stick to formal lessons
Small children, especially toddlers, do not often respond well to formal lessons. Listen to your gut and if you notice that you need to cut a lesson short or even let the child work without giving them a lesson beforehand, do it. Keep in mind that toddlers are not able to pay attention to one thing for a long time, so make sure the lecture is very brief. By allowing kids to play, instead of just listen to lectures, you will allow them to develop the motivation to learn and explore.
Learn when to step back
Instead of standing in front of the whole class while giving the lesson, move around the classroom and give individual lessons. Give straight forward lessons that will inspire the child to continue the discovery on their own. When they are engaged, take a step back and try not to interfere in any way.
With the Montessori approach to teaching, you can inspire your students to be creative, think independently and allow them to develop and learn at their own individual pace. By encouraging a love for learning you can help them become curious about the people and the world around them and hungry for knowledge, instead of seeing learning as a chore.