Role of a Teacher
The Montessori teacher creates a well-prepared Montessori environment and an atmosphere of learning and inquisitiveness designed to move students from one activity and level to the next.
The teacher becomes the keeper and custodian of the environment. The teacher's first duty is therefore to watch over the environment, and this takes precedence over all the rest.
A Montessori teacher often steps back while the children are working, allowing them to learn from their own discoveries and draw their own conclusions. Rather than supplying children with answers, the Montessori teacher asks them how they would solve the problem, actively working as a guide and facilitator, engaging children in the learning process and enhancing critical thinking skills. In most cases, children learn directly from the environment and other children, rather than the teacher.
The Montessori teacher is trained to give one-on-one or small group lessons and spend little time giving large group lessons. Lessons are brief and precise, meant to intrigue the minds of children so that they come back to learn more on their own. Subjects are interwoven and the Montessori teacher must be facile at presenting and understanding history, art, music, math, botany, zoology, chemistry, physical geography, language, physics, geometry, and practical life works.
Montessori teachers are scientific observers of children. They avoid using rewards and punishments for good or poor work. Montessori teachers never criticize or interfere in a child’s work. It is only in a trusting atmosphere that a child’s personality has room to grow. Children must have the freedom to choose their own activities and learn to behave without restriction.