The Montessori Teacher
“Follow the child” – as Dr. Montessori asserted, the Montessori teacher focuses on the whole child and not on the daily lesson plan. Dr. Montessori wanted to create a clear distinction between the role of the Montessori teacher and that of a traditional teacher. She coined the new title “director” or “directress” for the adults in her classrooms and as the name implies their role is that of a director of activities. Nowadays the term “guide” is more commonly used. The Montessori classroom is a student-centered environment rather than teacher-centered. The teacher is rarely the center of attention. She spends the majority of her time in individual or small group activity or observing the progress of the students.
The Montessori guide:
- tailors lessons and activities to suit the student’s learning style and abilities.
- prepares the classroom environment to promote autonomy amongst the students.
- maintains an investigation and discovery approach when presenting topics rather than giving facts and figures.
- is trained to assess knowledge and achievement through observation of the student.