Thursday, February 26, 2015

Montessori Teacher, A Prepared Self


Teachers need renewal, just like any profession.  Montessori Teachers require a bit of a different 'up keep' of sorts, and sometimes it's an active choice to maintain our particular level of self-care.  Below is a small list that helps me in my teaching practice.

  1. Find an outlet. For creativity.  For inspiration.  For decompressing.  Being a teacher (any type of teacher!) requires that you leave all of your outside-of-the-classroom baggage at the door.  Able to greet each child- each and every day- with a warm and open heart.   It takes an active plan within each of us to keep that magic going.  Try:  
    • art
    • music
    • volunteering
    • yoga & meditation
    • reading
    • writing
    • dancing
    • hiking
    • cooking
    • sewing/knitting
    • building and tinkering
  2. Go to a Montessori Conference or Session.  American Montessori Society, Association Montessori Internationale, North American Montessori Teachers Association.  Or, go visit your training center.  The Montessori Training I attended accepts students back for refreshers at no cost.  Get there, make connections, refresh your craft!
  3. Go to a conference for the age group you teach.  I can't tell you enough how eye-opening and wonderful it is to be at an Early Childhood Education Conference such as NAEYC, to share Montessori with others and hear about ideas and new findings in our age group's field.  Staying current on the age group you serve is vital.
  4. Follow your interests.  Yep, it's YOUR turn.  Go to a conference about something that you are interest in, within education or child research. This year, I went to a conference on Social and Emotional Learning. It's a subject that interests me in my personal life, that will enhance my teaching directly.  
  5. Go to another Montessori School.  Observe.  Observe. Observe.  Most schools offer teacher observations, just call and ask.
    • see your age group
    • see the one before yours
    • see the one after yours
  6. Find your tribe.  Find local friends that teach with your same pedagogy, or have similar interests.  Join list serves or Facebook groups to keep you connected with other teachers.  Sometimes schools feel small, and it's nice to connect with others who can relate.  Friends in your field can help you through a transition, hear your struggles and successes, and grow with your experience.