A Walk Through a Montessori Classroom

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Let's take a walk through a Montessori classroom. Are you ready?

On any given day, at any given moment, you'll notice that no one in a Montessori classroom is doing the exact same thing. The only thing that they are doing the same, is following their own interests.

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You'll notice that a teacher isn't standing in front of the class, orchestrating the daily activities to a large group. Instead, our directresses are providing one-on-one presentations, specifically geared towards the individual abilities of the student. After all, no one is the same, and everyone, most certainly, learns at their own pace. 

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Our main task is to inspire the children to actively explore the environment, becoming their own teachers.They paint and draw, cut and sew, engaging in a plethora of different art activities. They're not instructed what to illustrate, or put to paper. Instead, that comes from within. They're developing their own imaginations, their own creative lines of flight, and no one knows better than them. Our job is to observe. To follow their interests.

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There are no heirarchies in a Montessori classroom. Students are always free to work in any part of the classroom that they please. They're not confined to a desk or table and chair. They don't need to raise their hands, and wait to be called upon. As a matter of fact, the classsrooms are mixed age, so everyone has the opportunity to learn from each other. 

Here, you'll notice that a few older students are working together, collaborating on a math activity. They formed a group spontaneously, having decided, collectively, to tackle this adventure with some friends. They don't compete with each other, they only compete with themselves. They're here to support one another, to help one another learn. There are no judgements, or giggles if someone makes a mistake. Mistakes, they understand, are part of the process.

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There are no heirarchies in a Montessori classroom. Students are always free to work in any part of the classroom that they please. They're not confined to a desk or table and chair. They don't need to raise their hands, and wait to be called upon. As a matter of fact, the classsrooms are mixed age, so everyone has the opportunity to learn from each other. 

Here, you'll notice that a few older students are working together, collaborating on a math activity. They formed a group spontaneously, having decided, collectively, to tackle this adventure with some friends. They don't compete with each other, they only compete with themselves. They're here to support one another, to help one another learn. There are no judgements, or giggles if someone makes a mistake. Mistakes, they understand, are part of the process.

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Why is Montessori so successful? Why does it work? Because the children are happy. They want to work. We have a saying at Baan Dek. Social success leads to academic success. Here's the trick, and our society treats it like a secret: Montessori students are doing exactly what they want to be doing, exactly when they want to be doing it. They're following their own interests...