Friday, May 4, 2012

Montessori Education--A Collaboration

I have recently been doing a lot of research on a certain topic that has several different branches.  It would be so helpful if I could get some perspective from at least a handful of people.  Some of these question might seem to have obvious answers, however I am sure every answer will help me a great deal to support my classroom and hopefully beyond.

What are the needs of the parent that has a child in a Montessori Classroom?

What keeps a parent from collaborating more within the Montessori community or at least the classroom that their child is in?

Would parents partake in educational avenues through the school on even a monthly basis?

Do schools do Skype conferences to accommodate more participation?

Has anyone tried Montessori book discussions?

Please feel free to add anything else!!


tzuidema said...

Hi Matthew,

I am a Montessori parent and educator, but for the purposes of dialogue, I am going to collaborate as a Montessori parent.

I can only speak for myself, but my needs as a parent shifted and changed through the years.

When my daughter was an infant I wanted her caregivers to love her and respond to her as I would. I wanted her to feel safe and loved without me.

As a parent of a toddler I needed more advice and re-assurance. This is when I needed the "parenting" classes that were offered at our school. Tips on parenting the strong-willed toddler came in very handy.

As a parent of a primary age child I continued to need communication from her teachers and I enjoyed the opportunities to participate in the family events offered by the school.

During the elementary and middle school years, I continued to need communication from her teachers. I continued to enjoy family events offered by the school and I know she enjoyed the opportunities to show her father and I her work and projects.

Through her entire journey, I wanted to know she was learning, but even more than that, I wanted to know the teachers connected with or really "knew" my child. That they would provide a moral compass, they would be role models, they would love and accept her for who she was. They would be adults that would inspire and bring out the best in her :)

The second question is trickier and goes to the culture of a school. Some schools nurture the idea of parents as partners and others not so much. I believe the schools that put more emphasis on communication and parent education benefit from partnership arrangements.

I think our society is very scheduled and many families have stressed calendars, but I do think parents would partake in educational avenues if babysitting, food or other incentives made it easier to attend.

As a parent I would much rather meet in person than conference using Skype. If I could not attend an important school wide meeting or educational opportunity I might see an advantage to viewing electronically.

I have not had time to try a Montessori book discussion, but did see The Montessori Foundation is facilitating this.

I did take an online course through the Montessori Foundation and I really enjoyed the forums. It was great to share in this way with other Montessorians in the field. I felt we can support and learn much from each other.

Matthew Simberg said...


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment at length on this post! I am finding it extremely helpful!!!