Montessori for Traditional Teachers – What Works
In I 1979 was hired to bring Montessori to a private British-Peruvian girls’ school in Lima. There were no Montessori materials, and the curriculum was set to meet the highest standards of both the British and Peruvian governments. Below are some quotes from the chapter describing this experience as recorded in the book Aid to Life, Montessori Beyond the Classroom:
One of the stories we had heard was about a Montessori teacher who was traveling, with her entire family and a large group of adults and children, from one part of Asia to another, migrations caused by the partition of British India into two countries in 1947. Each night as the travel stopped and camp was set up this woman gathered the children and included them, in all of the necessary and important practical life of the group. They had a purpose, value to their community, a way of learning new skills that distracted them from the sadness of their journey. This was authentic Montessori.
“Well,” I thought to myself, “if this woman could create Montessori in such dire circumstances, I should be able to do something valuable for the students in a beautiful girl’s school in one of the world’s capital cities.”
We have been requested to share the story mentioned in a previous blog post “A Montessori Language Lesson” The introduction to the story, and all of the text in this blog post, is shared in the book Aid to Life, Montessori Beyond the Classroom (link below). This is a story of the young girl recording her thoughts as she experienced (just like Eloise did in Paris) a hotel with her grandparents (Amala and Baba) and aunt (Lala) during a Montessori conference in Portland, Oregon. Continue reading
Circle Time—Collective Lessons?
During my first year of teaching, an older and more experienced teacher at our Montessori school in San Francisco, California, told us that we should have a 30-40 minute “group” lesson at the end of each morning, with all of the children sitting in a circle as we sang songs, had news time, and sometimes gave a lesson that usually would be for one child at a time. I had not heard of such a thing in my AMI 3-6 course in London but I respected this teacher so I followed her advice.
A few years later, Margot Waltuch, who had worked with Maria Montessori for many years, was the consultant for my own school in Michigan (and later the consultant for my 6-12 classes in California). Continue reading