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I am the studio teacher in Zach's Place Studio, an AMS Montessori teacher, an artist, a mother and much more.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Observing a moment of curiosity - Kathryn

Angelina and I, in the spirit of the Reggio approach, are spending a great deal of time talking together about where to go next with the children, trying to base our ideas on what we see they do and what we hear them say. We've also solicited ideas from other teachers who have done this before and who know the children in the classrooms well. Unlike the Montessori approach, there really is no "right" way that we have been taught, so we imagine and think, allowing ideas to pop out fairly unformed to see if they will stimulate more ideas.

Some of my thoughts this week have been: this is harder than it looks; one idea might work well with one group of children and be a dud with another group; older children are more capable of understanding concepts like line and shape; and thus give us more ideas; and, did I say this is harder than it looks?

Post script: When I wrote earlier that it was harder than it looks, I realize now that what I mean is that letting go of one's expectations as a teacher is what is hard. The children do beautifully in the studio, but sometimes I have expected or hoped for something that did not happen. That also happens in the Montessori classrooms. It's much more, or entirely more, about the teacher than it is about the children. The previous photos illustrate my point a bit.

This little boy was not in the least bit interested in exploring shape with the overhead projector. He wondered how it worked! I tried once or twice to show him some possibilities with color, light, shadow, and shape, but no, he always went back to figuring out how it worked. Obvious from his face, he is engrossed and focused. As teachers, we try to protect those moments of concentration for every child, wherever they occur.

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