Family observations and conferences are an important part of the Montessori journey. Over the past few weeks, parents have been observing their children in their respective Elementary and Primary classrooms.
Reminder: Children do not report to school on Friday, Oct 30th!
Parent conferences are a time to learn about your child’s experiences in the Montessori classroom and their unique development. Parents should schedule a conference in the office or on our sign-up genius page (sent via email). If you are unable to attend a conference, please let us know! We are happy to schedule a time for you and your child’s teacher.
The Montessori Method is an approach to instruction that has the basic aim of freeing the learner’s potential of self-instruction or self-development in a prepared environment. The philosophy behind this aim is the belief stated by Maria Montessori (1870-1952) that no one can be free unless he is independent. It follows, then, that the thrust of the approach to instruction developed by Montessori is toward causing learners to become self-managing: self-motivated, self-disciplined and self-taught. … Actually, her method of instruction is just the visible and applied part of a comprehensive theory about child development and education. – Charles Galloway, Psychology for Learning and Teaching, New York: McGraw-Hill. 1976. pp. 409 – 410.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the diversity of activity in a Montessori classroom. First time observers may be attracted to one child or a group of the oldest or youngest children. It is helpful to alternate observations between watching the entire class and focusing on a single child.
Somethings you may notice on an observation:
- Children are learning in different ways. Some work cooperatively with the material. Some choose to work independently. Still others may walk around the classroom, seeming not to engage in anything in particular. This child, however, is absorbing and learning through observing his or her environment.
- The levels of sound vary, with rises and falls throughout the day. There should be the normal classroom noise of children being together and the excited pitch of being excited about learning.
- The way children speak to each other may surprise you. Listen for the level of respect as well as the “normal” childhood interactions. Do not be surprised if you hear a child tell another that they are disturbing their work.
Families are encouraged to schedule an observation throughout the school year!
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