What Is Meant By Spiritual Preparation Of The Teacher

“A study of one's self is the true preparation for education. The preparation of a life-helping teacher entails much more than the acquisition of knowledge. It entails character development as well as spiritual preparation.”

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The teacher's spiritual preparation can include anything that is deeply meaningful to them. We create more calm in our classrooms and nourish the inner lives of the children when we connect with our hearts. Calming and centering myself was one of the ways I psychologically and spiritually prepared myself for dealing with children. On some days, it was as simple as taking a few deep breaths when the kids arrived at school.

The major distinctions between Montessori's approach and other educational systems took years for me to understand. Learning to really respect children for many of us takes a shift in our cultural indoctrination that adults are in charge, know best, and must be obeyed. Teachers, according to Montessori, must do a methodical self-study in order to “rip out the most deeply rooted flaws, those in fact which obstruct relationships with children.” (From the book “The Secret of Childhood”) Teachers put forth the effort to root out unhelpful habits and attitudes (what Montessori referred to as “defects”) so that they can completely support children as they develop their intellect and personality. As part of this spiritual preparation, it's critical to examine our values, beliefs, habits, strengths, and shortcomings.

Reading or rereading books by Maria Montessori and contemporary Montessorians like Aline Wolf (Nurturing the Spirit in Nonsectarian Classrooms) and Paula Polk Lillard can be quite inspirational. Lillard recalls her first year of teaching in her book Montessori in the Classroom. She opens out about her doubts, questions, failures, and victories. It's a methodology for learning from both failures and triumphs without being judged.

It can be startling, even upsetting, to recognize the ways we unknowingly violate children's dignity. I once reached over and snatched the pen from a new teacher's hand during a private meeting after witnessing her in the classroom. “How did that feel?” I inquired.

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I apologized for shocking her and proceeded to explain, “It is likely that it does not feel nice to youngsters as well. Today I saw that you sometimes take items from children's hands when they're working. It's a bad habit that many of us have developed as adults.” When the desire to “assist” children by taking objects from their hands or doing something for them comes, we reviewed alternative responses.

I met a Montessori teacher early in my career who told how she would open her classroom door every morning and be filled with astonishment when the three-, four-, and five-year-olds entered. She made a welcoming and ushering motion with her hand, as if welcoming and ushering a child across the threshold. I was taken aback by the solemnity with which he made the motion. “She added,” she said “I have the honor of observing, guiding, and being inspired by these incredible humans. How fortunate I am.” I was inspired to have a greater appreciation for youngsters.

For years, I couldn't find time in my hectic teacher's schedule for the daily meditation I craved and believed would help me improve as a teacher. I sought advice from my meditation master. “Just sit in your backyard for a few minutes sipping your morning coffee, noticing what you see and hear,” he said.

How could I say that I didn't have a few minutes to spare? So I gave it a shot. The splendor of my city backyard astounded me. Spring blooms and bird music caught my attention. I felt the sun on my cheeks and the breeze in my hair. From a place of peace and harmony, I felt renewed and had more to contribute to the children. Of course, I forgot or felt rushed many times, so I cherished those minutes with a cup of tea at the end of the day. As I relished the gift of calm reflection, five minutes would often turn into 10 or twenty.

Many of us may only get the opportunity to take a few deep breaths while we're stopped at a red light or in the restroom. Don't underestimate how beneficial this can be. Two minutes of steady, deep breathing reduces anxiety and helps people become much calmer, according to scientific studies. Deep breathing can also help us calm our minds and hearts before moving on to the next action. Before providing a class overview, you might want to stand, stretch, and take some calm, deep breaths. (Inhale for four counts, exhale for eight.) See whether you notice a difference in how you observe the children or react to their actions as a result of this.

We can better cultivate peace in our classrooms if we develop daily routines that encourage self-awareness and inner harmony. Many people take a few moments before meals or before going to bed to recollect what they are grateful for. Other practices to consider are:

  • Spending time in the outdoors (even just walking around your neighborhood, noticing the trees and flowers)
  • Silently repeating a short word or phrase (“Peace, Peace”) (“May all beings be happy.”)

The foundation for observing and interacting with children with tranquility and respect is cultivating a serene inner life. There are mindfulness and awareness exercises available, as well as good literature, to help us learn to respond from our hearts. We have a lot on our plates as instructors. Begin with something simple and manageable, such as taking a minute or two of calm, deep breathing. Then give yourself a pat on the back for remembering to feed your inner spirit. This activity, however brief, can assist you in connecting with and nurturing the children's light and inner life.

“We shall walk this path of life together, for everything is a part of the universe, and everything is related to form one full unity.”

—from Montessori Educational Consultant at Montessori Services, Irene Baker, MEd. She is a Montessori certified primary (ages 3-6) and elementary (ages 6-12) teacher with experience in all three levels. She's been a Montessori consultant and teacher-trainer for primary and elementary schools for over 20 years, and she's given seminars for teachers at schools and AMS conferences. Her love for storytelling, history, social justice, nonviolent (compassionate) communication, poetry, meditation, music, and the natural environment pervade her work with students and instructors.

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What is spiritual preparation of the Montessori teacher?

Even more than the academic aspects of learning, Maria Montessori emphasized the spiritual training of the teacher. She urged her aspiring instructors to face their own personal limitations as well as any preconceived notions about youngsters. She said that the teacher-student interaction is based on the teacher's inner attitude and subsequent outer approach.

Is Montessori spiritual?

Montessori education is not intrinsically religious and does not give religious instruction in and of itself. It does, however, promote all types of human spirituality to be explored, enjoyed, and respected.

What is prepared adult in Montessori?

Children are born with certain abilities, but they do not grow up without them! To reach their greatest potential, they require a carefully designed environment that matches their demands at each stage of growth.

We do not learn to walk as infants by lying in a cot or by having an adult force our limbs to move beneath us. When our neurons begin to fire, we are motivated to learn to walk. We succeed only when we are allowed to move freely in an environment with things for pulling up and standing. The rest is taken care of by nature and practice!

Characteristics of the Prepared Environment

The prepared environment includes freedom as a key component. This is, of course, freedom within bounds. We want babies to learn to walk, but we won't let them do it in risky situations. Similarly, we encourage children to explore and choose in the classroom, but they cannot abuse things or people in the process, nor can they choose activities that they do not understand or are not ready for. This is a crucial distinction to make because Montessori classrooms use materials that are multi-year in nature.

Another important feature of the planned environment is that activities are matched to the children's developmental stages, beginning with physical development. If you visited Montessori surroundings from newborn through high school, you would note that the furnishings appeared to grow! Montessori was the first educator to insist that objects and furniture be child-sized. It may seem obvious today, but Montessori was the first educator to insist on child-sized objects and furniture. This was not merely because she knew that children couldn't operate well with adult-sized items. She also discovered that their emotional development was influenced by their surroundings.

Consider how you'd feel if everything was twice as big around you. You had to climb up to sit, or stand on tiptoe to gaze out the windows, or eat with enormous utensils. You'd not only feel awkward or out of place, but you'd also be frustrated because you couldn't function without the help of others — you couldn't be self-sufficient. It's no surprise that children who desire to accomplish things on their own sometimes throw tantrums!

Environments must also be compatible with a child's cognitive growth. Each Montessori class's materials and activities are chosen to match the students' changing abilities and requirements. Because children can learn at their own pace, the materials available to them extend beyond their age or grade level. Montessori's early elementary classrooms were divided from the pre-school classes by waist-high barriers, and she regularly permitted the children to go on “academic walks” to explore what piqued their attention.

Montessori also believed that genuine, functioning items should be available to the children. Because kids learn by their senses, they are given actual dishes to wash with real soap, real food to cook, real flowers in glass vases to arrange, and real tools to use in the garden. As a result, their contributions to the environment and community, as well as their self-esteem, are genuine. Children's spiritual growth is likewise addressed in the prepared environment. The Montessori setting reflects their sensitivity to nature and beauty through the use of natural materials. Furthermore, the settings are properly organized and well-kept.

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The Role of the Adult

The adult is the final component of the prepared environment. Montessori believed that the adult's function should be that of an observing guide, someone who established the scene for the children, connected them to activities, but then stepped back to avoid getting in the way. Adults should “guide” children to things rather than “teach” them, she believes, by offering a lesson but then giving them the freedom to practice, take chances, make mistakes, and try again on their own. As a result, she preferred the terms director or directress to teacher. Adults must also provide youngsters with broad blocks of time during which they can work without interruption. Montessori stated as early as 1907 that the adult world, with its machines, fast speed, and interruptions, was unsuited for children!

The adult also builds a small community in which the youngsters can develop their social lives by creating schools or Children's Houses. Visitors at Montessori preschools may mistakenly believe that the children's independence means they aren't developing their social skills. Montessori's thoughts:

“What is social life if not the resolution of social problems, proper behavior, and the pursuit of goals that are acceptable to all?” Tosocial life entails sitting next to someone and listening to them talk: yet, this is not the case. In regular schools, children's sole opportunities for social interaction are during recess or field trips. Ours is a community that is always engaged.”

What is the Montessori Philosophy?

What Is Montessori Education? Montessori is a philosophy and method of education that promotes rigorous, self-directed growth in all areas of a child's development, with the objective of cultivating each child's inherent desire for knowledge, understanding, and respect.

Do Montessori schools teach evolution?

Maria Montessori's instruction to teachers is straightforward: “The ability to declare, “The children are now working as if I did not exist,” is the greatest indicator of a teacher's success. As servants waiting on a master, we teachers can only assist in the ongoing job.”

“The aim of life is to follow the secret command that secures everyone's happiness and makes the world a better place. “We were not made just to enjoy the planet; we were meant to help the cosmos evolve,” Montessori explained.

The universe, the earth, and the timeline of life are addressed in the first two Great Lessons. Students learn about how the earth was formed, starting with the Big Bang, and then focusing on related topics such as astronomy, meteorology, chemistry, physics, geology, and geography, depending on their interests. How? Their astonishment!

Teachers examine life's timeline via dozens of charts and subsequent conversations in Lesson Two after students have comprehended the concept of the universe and planet. Students begin by learning about microorganisms, plants, and animals before branching out to learn about the diversity of life and the roles that each living thing plays in it.

Montessori teachers demonstrate how the universe, life, animals, communication, and numbers came into being to help contribute to life on Earth from the first day of primary school.

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When children are permitted to learn at their own pace and with their own interests in mind, as envisioned by Maria Montessori, Italy's first female physician, they eventually assume charge of their own education.

“We must teach the youngster to act, will, and think for himself; this is the art of people who wish to serve the spirit,” she explained.

As a result of her concept, she developed a curriculum aimed at assisting each kid in discovering delight in learning. The Five Great Lessons—a primer on how everything relates with everything else—are at the heart of this learning.

As Dr. Montessori put it, “education is the key to success.” “The growth of a kid follows a road of increasing independence, and our understanding of this must guide our behavior toward him. We must assist the child in acting, deciding, and thinking for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, and it is an art that can only be perfected when dealing with children.”

Is Montessori good for ADHD?

You might be seeking for a different option if you're the parent of a child with ADHD. A Montessori classroom may be the solution. Consider some of the ways that a Montessori classroom might help a youngster with ADHD.

Many people are unaware of how much their surroundings can influence them. Children, like us, take in features such as a room's carpet, artwork, and furnishings without even recognizing it.

A classroom full of bright colors and active artwork might be a sensory overload for youngsters with ADHD. Many children with ADHD interpret sensory data in a unique way, and environmental circumstances have a significant impact on them. A room with vivid colors and cartoon characters may appear to be a child's heaven, but it might be distracting and even disturbing to your youngster.

These types of distractions are minimized in Montessori classrooms. Simplicity is valued over stimulation in the Montessori philosophy. Natural materials are used for furniture and learning equipment in the classrooms, which are designed in neutral colors.

The Montessori setting can be calming for a child with ADHD. Your child will be able to focus on the subject at hand with fewer interruptions. Furthermore, in a more minimalistic classroom, your child will likely experience less anxiety and frustration as a result of attempting to absorb too much information at once.

The Montessori technique also allows children to work at their own pace, which is a useful feature. A Montessori classroom is divided into several sections, each with its own concentration. There's a section for arithmetic, a section for language, and a section for practical life skills, for example.

Rather than having all of the children working on the same activity at the same time, they are free to explore the various areas, pick an activity that interests them, and stick with it until they are ready to move on to something new.

Children with ADHD may take longer to adjust to a project and complete a task than typical children. Being hurried to keep up with the speed of the classroom can make your youngster upset and want to give up.

It's fine for your youngster to take their time in a Montessori classroom. They can devote more time to an art project if they so desire. If kids can't get into a narrative, they can put it down and do something else for a time before returning to it when they're more focused.

This type of self-paced learning environment may appear unfocused, yet it actually aids in the development of children's concentration, independence, and self-control. These are valuable lessons for any child, but they are especially beneficial for children with ADHD.

For many children, attempting to learn multiple concepts at the same time is quite challenging. Isolating concepts can help your child learn more efficiently by allowing them to focus on learning only one item at a time. Montessori teaching materials are made specifically for this purpose.

You may be familiar with busy boards, which feature items such as buttons, zippers, shoelaces, snaps, and other small items. These are designed to assist children in learning how to dress themselves. Being presented with so many chores at once can be daunting for a child with ADHD.

These exercises would be presented separately in a Montessori classroom. The Montessori dressing frame is similar to a busy board in that it has a row of five buttons and a row of five aligned buttonholes instead of zippers, buttons, and ties.

The dressing frame simply has one concept for the youngster to learn: how to fasten buttons. It isolates the concept, making it easier for the kid to concentrate on the activity at hand.

The dressing frame is also self-correcting, which means that if your child makes a mistake, they will be able to see it and correct it. It won't be necessary for anyone to point it out to them. This will assist your youngster learn to focus on the work at hand so that they can complete it appropriately.

Montessori philosophy, teaching methods, and materials are beneficial to all children, but children with ADHD may benefit especially from a learning environment that naturally tackles some of their unique issues. A Montessori school near you may be the ideal option if you're seeking for the right classroom for your child with ADHD.

Are Montessori schools better?

Lower-income children in Montessori schools, on the other hand, had much higher math and reading results than lower-income children in other schools, according to the study. Higher-income Montessori students outperformed higher-income students at other schools, but not by as much.

What is a prepared environment in Montessori?

Maria Montessori's concept of the “prepared environment” is that the environment can be created to allow the child to learn and explore independently to the greatest extent possible. Through developmentally appropriate sensory stimuli, a prepared environment allows each child to reach their greatest potential.

How do you prepare to be a parent?

Talk to new parents about what to expect and keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to motherhood, according to Dr. Saxbe. It's comforting to know that some pregnancies and babies are different from others. Furthermore, social support is vital and has been related to a lower risk of postpartum depression. Dr. Douglas stated, “Women without appropriate social support, regardless of socioeconomic class, are at risk.” For normalizing sentiments and experiences associated to new parenthood, online communities can be extremely beneficial.

There are lots of possibilities to form friendships in the real world. Prenatal exercise or parenting classes, lactation workshops, and mommy-and-me yoga are just a few of the areas where new parents can meet face to face. “It takes a community to raise a child, and it's critical to feel connected and supported as you make this adjustment,” Dr. Morelen added. “I advise expectant parents to seek out to other parents they trust and inquire about what they found helpful (or not) in their own preparation journeys.”

How can we prepare our environment at home?

When it comes to structuring your child's surroundings at home, there are two things to bear in mind:

  • Make a spot in each room for the limited, carefully chosen things of the child: Have a stool and a spot to hang coats and keep shoes near the front door. Make a spot in the living room for your child's books and toys, which should be neatly and aesthetically organized. Plan activities and supplies for all living areas, and set up the environment to accommodate your child's activities.
  • Don't leave too many toys or books out at once. Those that your youngster is now using are sufficient. Taking out those books and toys that haven't been picked in a while and putting them in storage for a while is a smart idea. Children develop and change, and they require assistance in maintaining a clutter-free and tranquil environment.