Montessori Classrooms: observations & perspectives

Classroom observations are coming up at our children’s school.  It’s a chance for parents to come into the classroom and observe the daily routine of the children.  It’s one of my favorite times of the year.   It is an honor to be an invited guest into the community the children have created with their teacher.  I am consistently amazed by the classroom dynamics and the ability of the children to each concentrate on their own work. The confidence and pride the children have in their abilities and in their classroom is palpable.   As I observe the children working, baking, painting, gardening, and tending to their environment, I secretly admire all of the lovely materials and long to work with them myself!

Observing a traditional Montessori classroom in action is remarkable.  Not many people get the chance, unless they’re seriously considering a particular school.   These two posts on classroom observation from mariamontessori.com offer insight from the perspective of:

a parent, and

from an school director.

What’s great about these two posts is that they offer a glimpse of what you might find inside a traditional Montessori classroom and how your own schooling experiences can create a filter for what you observe and how you perceive it.

UPDATE!

In a recent WSJ article “Acing Parent-Teacher Conferences” you’ll find some suggestions for a productive parent-teacher conference.  Even though the article is not written for specifically for Montessori parents, these terrific tips still apply.

Do Your Homework — How parents can get the most out of their 10 minutes:

  • Ask your child to share concerns before you go.
  • Bring written notes and questions.
  • Tell the teacher about at-home issues that might be impacting your child’s academics.
  • Don’t be antagonistic. View the teacher as your partner.
  • If teacher uses jargon, ask for simple explanations and specifics about your child’s work.
  • Keep the conversation focused on your child
  • Discuss strategies you and the teacher can use to help your child. Write out common goals.
  • Ask for follow-up emails and conversations.

 

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