What You Need to Know About Montessori Preschools (page 2)

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Updated on Oct 10, 2011

Montessori Teachers

  • Teachers work with children on the floor or at tables rather than at the front of the classroom.  
  • The teacher’s role is to observe and guide children’s learning rather than instruct. “The teacher is a quiet observer only interfering if she/he sees that a child may need assistance,” states Wallace. “The teacher's responsibility is to create the environment that entices and enhances the development of each child. The child then acts on this prepared environment at their particular stage of development.”
  • Teachers keep notes and records on each child’s progress and introduce lessons according to the needs of the children in the class.

Other Distinguishing Features

  • Montessori classrooms are typically multi-aged. The age span will usually be 3 years.
  • Older children help the younger children master skills. 
  • Often the teacher and children stay together as a group from year to year, especially in programs that continue into elementary or even secondary grades.
  • Children in a Montessori classroom are part of a caring community. They are trained to be kind to one another and help each other.

Montessori preschool programs may have only some components, or be very authentic Montessori programs that include all aspects of Montessori education. Many preschool programs do not call themselves a Montessori preschool, but may incorporate some Montessori methods into their program.

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