I spend a lot of my time mentoring in schools that want to offer the best Montessori programs they can. But, as most of you know, there is a HUGE deficit of well-trained Montessori adults out there! Often times, schools need to work with staff who are untrained, partially-trained, or trained by a training center that needs a little love. And sometimes, even well-prepared teachers need a second pair of eyes or a fresh look at their practices/environment.
So, I've gathered together a list of some things that might help get your Montessori mojo going!
- Start a book club: Read Maria's London Lectures together (or the Absorbent Mind or any other book written by Maria) and then meet once a month to talk about it.
- Begin each staff meeting with a 5-minute conversation about a Montessori quote.
- Begin each staff meeting by having one adult share a memorized song or poem (that can then be shared throughout the school). This is great for bringing your spoken language program to life and super important for public schools serving children living in poverty.
- Include a model grace & courtesy lesson at each staff meeting. This should be a lesson relevant to the whole school like how to help an upset person in the hallway. Present these to the staff just as it would be presented to the children. Figure out what you're presenting, who's presenting, and practice ahead of time.
- Visualize the ideal pick-up/drop-off procedure and then form a team to work out the details (including grace and courtesy lessons for all staff members)
- Read our Guide to Normalization handout for ideas on how to overcome common classroom challenges
- Make daily 15-minute formal, seated observations mandatory for every classroom teacher (remind everyone that they get paid to sit still for 15-minutes every day!!!)
- Hold once-a-week in-school partner classroom observations: one-day-a-week, teachers observe in someone else's classroom in their school instead of in their own. The assistant in the classroom being observed can move into the observing teacher's classroom for those 15-minutes to avoid staffing problems.
- Send staff to a NAMTA conference or an AMI refresher course
- Send assistants to an Assistants Training
- Get together with a staff member or two and read blog posts on Mariamontessori.com
- Schedule a Mentoring Call to speak one-on-one about your situation