From my standpoint, comparative studies between conventional teachers and Montessori teachers show maximum levels of discrepancy. Due to the difference in approach, the conventional teacher, which has proven successful over the years, is increasingly plummeting due to a system, to be quite frank, is failing children; for instance, the system is negligent and misleading, where teachers are forced to teach to a test and not to take time to break individual barriers. Children are expected to learn by simply memorizing or repeating what the teacher says. Therefore, distinguishing if the child even understands what they are learning is left undetermined, not only by the teacher, but the system.
It is perfectly true, I must admit it in all humility, if not for the sake of the Montessori system founded for early education, I would not be the independent, the determined or the creatively open minded, rich person I see. Just like you, I have experience a wide range of teachers and educational backgrounds. I went from Montessori, to public, to Christian private schooling. Having had the foundation of the Montessori system, with teachers who approached learning as something I did and not what they did, is exactly what carried me through all my education years and continues to carry me now.
I sadly think society preconceived notion of a teacher is one who is constantly engaged and interacting with students. Indifferently as it may be, the Montessori Method of Education offers a rather different approach to teaching. “To aid life,” Montessori said, “leaving it free to unfold itself, that is the basic task of the educator.” She felt, “learning is a dynamic process in which the whole personality of the child must be actively engaged. In order to educate the whole child, they must be given the freedom to develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.” She realized, “that the only value impulse to learning is the self-motivation of the child.” What Society can easily miss, the Montessori teacher is actively engaged in observation, which leads to more productive interaction and more able to fulfill the needs of each individual student.
The most interesting aspect of my story takes us back to my kindergarten year in the Montessori primary classroom. My teacher, Ms. Grieveson, impacted my life in a strong and lasting way. Of course, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered what actually took place.
Look forward to our next blog “Teachers Impact Part 2: The power of observation.“