…Is definitely not the certificate. Or the accreditation.
A Montessori qualification is rather a beginning, to guide you through what sort of a teacher you want to become.
Instead of Dr. Montessori’s term ”directress”, I used the common word for someone who educates these young souls as a ‘teacher’ mainly because …to remind myself that I need to step out of that protected Montessori shell we all live inside when we gain our qualification. Stay out of misusing Dr.Montessori’s beautifully experimented terms such as Independence, Freedom, Prepared Environment and Absorbent Mind. How unfulfilling to see that we break every rule of her handbook by being incorrigible to understand the layers within a promising soul of a child?
As a procedure, I blame myself first. I believe character-training should be pondered upon while practicing. How Montessori am I? How much of a respect do I hold for myself, for my children, for my environment, for my faith that children will grow out of their deviations?
Secondly, I blame the system. It requires you to often keep yourself to set targets that are rather elusive. It makes you think that you shall prepare your children for that traditional school where learning has to be exercised rigorously to keep up with the standards. How often us Montessori teachers think that what our Montessori child will become once they enter the main-stream school? Do we initiate activities that actually build character?
Clinical and technical aspects of teaching maddens me. If we often ignore the new-born, 0-1, 1-2 years of age infants and toddlers, believing that Montessori activities are designed only to bring out the children we dream them to be when they are 2-1/2 upwards, am I unreasonable to say, it’s rather a non-Montessorian approach?
Child is a beginning. As much as it’s a two-and a half Montessori world out there, I am inquisitive to use my skills to understand the birth-two years of age ranged children. They are like turbulence. Often mesmerized, enigmatic and foreign aliens. You would laugh at my cynicism, but when I see that windows of sensitive periods, where my children are addicted to climb the stairs, make that move, use that muscle, I forget whatever the challenges and confusions that exist.
My Montessori Approach is to learn. I want to start with I-know- nothing today. Teach me, perhaps I will understand. I am a student again.
My Montessori Approach is to respect ‘space’. Teach myself some discipline, teach myself some behavior, so that my children may emulate the best of that prepared environment. (Urm, not just that geometrical shapes or fancy materials…)
My Montessori approach is spiritual. I make mistakes, I become numb, humiliated, sad and make it a turning point.
My Montessori approach is to stay alive. Go out, get some air. Tell my children, the trees are tall, taller and tallest. Embracing as much as nature possible.
Thus, I finish my first blog for ‘the holistic child’, on an important note. This blog should help me and you to stop right there from being mechanical. It should remind us to read, study, rein ourselves not to give in to our impatience and false expectations. Children should be regarded not merely as responsibility, but as future of our own selves.