Best Practices - Progressive School, Progressive Teacher - MRS. PARIMEETA KHANNA PRT MONTESSORI
Childhood is a journey not a race. Each child is born with innate qualities and capabilities. The need is to respect children as thinkers, explorers, curious scientists, mathematicians, imaginative writers and artists. Teachers are facilitators and guides who foster thinking and problem solving skills. Children are active participants, problem solvers and deserve opportunities to observe, explore, manipulate and experiment with the resources available in their immediate environment. School is a platform where children are nurtured to become good citizens; their thirst to learn, explore, manipulate and observe is quenched. The opportunities are provided for perceiving, conceiving and reaching inferences.
Early childhood years are indeed the most significant and crucial years of education. Perhaps by providing good nourishment and guidance during these early years (3-5 years) most of the social evils can be eradicated. Hence, the responsibility of a Montessori teacher is the most important not only in a child’s life but also shaping healthy and responsible humans for a better tomorrow.
The seeds of the bond between a teacher and a student are sown on the first day of a child’s schooling. It is indeed a day full of excitement and enthusiasm, curiosity and expectations, dreams and desires and a day full of positivity as well as anxiousness. The teacher, the student and the parent have their own anxiety and expectations. As a Montessori teacher, each year, this day is the most significant day of my life and the experience marks a special place in my memory bank. I plan numerous ice breaking activities like rhymes, stories, colouring, clay, puzzles, music, slides and fun games. Each child responds to the activities in an individual manner subject to the interest of each child. My goal is to make these kids enjoy mastering their skills and help them reach the epitome of their talents.
My journey as a Montessori teacher has helped me evolve as a more compassionate and a better person year after year. Each day, I learn and grow with my little children. The innocence, curiosity, positivity of my kids has always energised me. The child responds and grows best in a stimulating supportive friendly and safe environment. We need to understand and respect the individuality and creativity of a child. It may surprise one but it is true that behind each scribbling by a child, there is an interesting story to be understood or explored. Once after a free hand drawing session in my class, I asked the students to explain their drawings. To my surprise a four-year-old child explained his drawing of a national flag and palace kind of thing as ‘ye meri India mein mera mahal hai. ’This gave me an insight into his creativity and ability to express so explicitly.
To quote another incident, once while we were having a picture story book reading time, one child was talking to his father, imagining himself to be the character of the story, his friends as other elements of the story and he went on endlessly weaving a story. I was a silent listener but that day I learnt that he is an excellent story teller and has the ability to give words to his imagination.
The above mentioned examples are some instances of make believe reading and writing--stepping stone to foster linguistic skills. Such independent expressions are to be encouraged and supported for their all-round development. We, as teachers, have to facilitate their learning by arousing their interest, keeping in mind the individual differences and developmental needs of each child. We don’t have to teach them to write numbers and letters, rather, we have to make them understand the numbers and letters and prepare them for primary education. We have to foster their thinking and life skills.
It is indeed God’s blessing to be a Montessori teacher and be instrumental in nurturing God’s most wonderful creation – a child. I extend my thanks to the tiny tots for making my journey so motivating and enriching. It would not have been possible without the guidance provided by our respected Principal Madam, Mrs. Asha Prabhakar, who not only acts as a guiding star but also a pillar of strength in the time of crisis when we loose confidence. I am also grateful to my colleagues for their unconditional support and affection. Last but not the least I thank the parent fraternity for their cooperation as and when needed by the school.