Best Practices - Progressive School, Progressive Teacher - MRS.MANAMI GHOSH (MONTESSORI)
A Montessori Teacher is the first formal teacher, with whom the child comes in contact after his parents and family members. His interaction at this level with the teacher paves the foundation of his future beliefs and opinion about the world outside.
The process of learning is never ending and so is the process of teaching, simply because, every time we learn something new, good or bad, there is a teacher involved. There are many areas in which I have grown and improved with time and experience in Mont. Classrooms and I am happy to state that I am still growing as a teacher.
My greatest reward is the satisfaction I get when I see their glowing eyes, while they do something new such as learning to read or effectively expressing their imaginations through a sketch with wavering pencil strokes. The teacher’s enthusiastic yet peaceful demeanor is reflected in the classroom. Children are great imitators. Their behavior is a reflection of the teacher’s conduct in Classrooms. I have also observed that due to my inclination towards music, the children of my class developed a natural orientation and liking towards jingles and prayers. They eagerly wait every day to sing the National Anthem.
Class Control is another important aspect of teaching especially when you are handling small children. I have experimented with the strategy of using story as an effective tool. Instead of asking them to be quietly seated, it is better to start with a story appropriate to their age group and having a moral. As children start listening, they become quiet and slowly get seated in their place. It only takes a minute to win over the kids and once you have succeeded, teaching becomes the best job in the world. Stories can be incorporated virtually into every areas of the curriculum.
With the little experience I have gathered working with these young children, I firmly believe that teachers are only facilitators. Rather than forcing the child to learn in a way which is desirable and suitable for us, we should create situations where the child can learn at his own pace., interpreting things in his own way. Once it so happened when I was interacting with a child during admission, where this little girl was given a picture of a flower to colour. A bowl full of mixed colour was lying on the table and the child was asked to pick up crayon from it. After 5mins or so seeing the child sitting quietly, I asked her why she was not colouring. She answered back that there was no red colour in the box. This incident shocked me. The child was taught that flower should be red only…her imagination, creativity was thwarted by us, the adults. Unknowingly we sometimes curb the spontaneity of the children for the sake of forced learning. We cease to become a facilitator.
Language does not always make much sense when we deal with these five-year-old kids. The everlasting bond with the teacher over a period of time helps the child to understand the gestures and facial expressions of their mentor. I smile when I am pleased, I make an angry face when they are naughty. Children can easily correlate with the expressions of the teacher.
The curriculum is a necessary raw material and warmth is the vital element for nurturing the growing saplings. I had a child in Mont 1 who was hyperactive and was not toilet trained as well. He was quite unaware of his belongings and could not follow even simple instructions. He used to run out of the class often. During day camp last year I remember I kept holding his hand all the while for safety. But after a year …with better understanding …regular interaction with the parent I did find out ways to engage him in the class in various ways., he is now totally toilet trained, understands instructions very well and with a little reminder he follows the class routine. This year during the day camp I was happy as he himself held my hand and said that ‘Mummy has asked me to be with you always’. He walks in a line now and takes additional responsibilities like distributing notebooks to fellow students, checking lines and discipline in the class.
So with the right attitude, abounding energy, patience and love, let’s help the children to sharpen their mental as well as physical abilities, guide them to discover their innate talents, arouse curiosity and broaden their horizon to flourish themselves as self-reliant members of the society.
I take this opportunity to thank our Principal Ms. Asha Prabhakar who entrusted me with this vital responsibility of nurturing the kids, making my journey as a Mont Teacher a joyful and fulfilling one with new avenues of learning.