Starting my day earlier at school was a big change for me. I’m not typically a morning person, but I’m learning to deal with that. Since I started at the school I currently work at, I’ve worked in the afternoons, so shifting to mornings felt really weird. I was expecting a rougher transition, but after seeing how wonderful the mornings are, I’m rather glad I was given the opportunity to switch. At the start of the day the children are alert, awake, and ready to learn. Towards the end they might lose their steam, and are ready to go home. I understand completely why after-school care exists for the families that need it, but it is a rather long day for the children too.
One truly great thing that I love that our classroom does every day is say “Good morning!” I’ve alluded to the fact that I’m really not a morning person, and at first this seemed almost torturous – having to greet each person with a smile on my face is a terrifying thought when the morning is your enemy! I’m learning to love the mornings though…Each time one of the children greets me and we smile to each other, I honestly feel as if my day got a little brighter. It’s really a simple practice that has a great impact on everyone’s day.
The other benefit of me working in the morning now is that I get the mixed-age classroom – the full Montessori experience. In the afternoon, we only have the children who do not nap, which is typically the 4-6 year olds. The morning class is 2.5-6year olds. I’ve worked before in the morning, before I went through training. Now I understand much more why the age ranges are mixed in the classroom. If you had nothing but 3 year olds in a Montessori classroom, you’d be running around insanely giving lessons and putting out fires! (This is not to imply that your children are not well-behaved, or that you do not have a good handle on the classroom. This is just saying 3 year olds are capable of….a lot!) Having the older children with the younger ones provides the chance for peer-education and peer-supervision. I see the older children say to the younger ones “Oh, let me help you with that” quite often, and it makes me very happy to see the generosity being cultivated in the children.
Of course to many of you who read this, I am stating the obvious in a Montessori classroom. I just find the process unfolding in front of me so beautiful and amazing that I can’t help but be captivated by it! I hope that I never come to the point that I take this for granted. Watching the children so focused and in the moment of what they’re doing is an amazing privilege. Morning work time has even further opened my eyes to the truly beautiful environment of the Montessori classroom.
Sorry I haven’t been writing more, I’ve been quite busy the past few weeks! I’m also working on some larger posts that are more specific to the classroom that I hope to be sharing with you all very soon. I guess I just didn’t realize how time-consuming this whole blogging experience would be!