|The developmental stages of Montessori teachers|
The Three Year Cycle: Montessori Teachers Develop Alongside Students
Seeing the ease and fluidity in the classrooms of experienced Montessori teachers, they may wonder what they are doing wrong in their classroom. Some try to fall back on the conventional methods they know best, only to realize that they need to trust the Montessori method. They seek the advice of experienced Montessori mentors to help them along the way. First-year Montessori teachers rely concretely on their manuals and practice, hands-on, with the materials before presenting lessons to their students. They review their own work through self-reflection, making notes on how to improve the next time. Novice teachers consult Montessori books, read blogs, and attend conferences looking for quick, practical fixes. First-year Montessori teachers, like first-year students, come to the end of the year feeling like they have learned a lot, but knowing there is plenty more learning to do.
Second-year Montessori teachers are more relaxed. Having reflected on their previous year, they and have made some changes in the environment and their personal approach to Montessori. They understand the basic tenets of the Montessori method — the three-year mixed age group; giving children choices; positively guiding behavior; and more. They still rely on their manuals and the materials, but they do not need as much concrete practice as they did the year before. Second-year teachers are more adept at conducting student observations and supervising a classroom of children working individually and independently. They consult Montessori books, read blogs, and attend conferences to gain validation. Like second-year students, second-year practicing Montessori teachers are comfortable in their environment and are eager to learn.
Wherever you find yourself along your Montessori journey, it is important to surround yourself with professional mentors who will help guide you, just as you guide the students in your care.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.