The teachers in Montessori Schools need to understand how important it is to allow the child to develop naturally taking his own course of time. They need to be trained in the Montessori concept of teaching. Not only will their training involve being educated of the philosophy and theory of Montessori, but they must also be aware of the accurate and appropriate use of any Montessori paraphernalia.
Before introducing a challenging lesson or other materials to appeal to the child’s interests to boost development (emotional, social, physical, and cognitive) it is essential the teacher observe the child’s age range and specific abilities. This decisive activity makes the teacher the guide of information for the child. Also, to provide for the child a nurturing environment, the teacher needs leadership skills so that the child experiences the joy of learning. The teachers need to be accredited by the MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education).
- Multi Age Classrooms
With multi-age classrooms, the older children impart knowledge of what they have already learnt to the younger children around. Not only do the older kids become role models for the younger ones but also their leadership skills develop naturally in the process. The children would pick up social skills and real life work habits naturally that would be essential for their future work and activities.
Children belonging to age group of birth to 3 years can be grouped in early childhood and elementary levels by approved standards of multi-age groups. The secondary level group too in a 2 or 3-year range.
- Montessori Materials
Montessori materials should attract the toddler’s attention and must appeal to their senses. They must be instructive, informative, educative and moralistic. This material will impart to the child a particular skill or concept and will also have a way of correcting any mistakes that the child makes. Ideas that are increasingly complex can be introduced in a simpler manner using this material.
- Child Directed Work
The Montessori classroom is directed toward encouraging curiosity in the child and providing for them a child-oriented work environment. It helps toddlers to pick on significant and sometimes challenging tasks that increases their attention span, leads to motivation and develops in them a sense of responsibility. The teachers act as mentors or guides as the children work in calm and uncluttered in groups or individually.
- Uninterrupted Work Periods
To have work periods uninterrupted for a span of time helps develop co-ordination, patience, absorption of information, concentration, and independence and order. The child is allowed to learn at his own pace with no interruption thus recognizing the need to respect the child’s individual progress in the learning process. The toddlers should be encouraged to select an activity, being engaged with it for as long as it holds their interest, cleaning up once done and returning it to the shelf or cupboard before choosing another activity. The teacher meanwhile may impart small-group or individual lessons as they monitor the child’s work.
While these is no set work cycle time at infant level, the accredited schools need to follow work cycle times. At toddler level it implies 60 to 90 minutes work cycle in the morning hours where they are allowed to move around and explore the material available. At early childhood level the work cycle time increases to 2-3 hour cycle in the morning, four days a week. The secondary level work cycle depends on how small or large the program is.