Is there anything greater than looking up from what you are doing, and seeing the entire classroom of children quietly working on independent projects? Today was one of those very perfect days. No one needed to be asked to work, no massive social disruptions…just gears turning and thoughts crunching away! There were several children writing stories, a few Movable Alphabets being done, a duo working on the 100’s board, some Geometric Cabinet lessons, and some quiet puzzle work. Really beautiful to see everything so seamless and quiet! I’ve been a bit passive with my camera lately, and I realize this is pretty boring with no pictures, so I will fix this ASAP.
And now, a confession. I caught myself doing something bad during a lesson the other day. Worst part is, I caught myself doing it several times throughout the day after that too! I have this horrible habit of correcting small things on the child’s work while they are working. In my mind, I justify it by saying that I’m trying to maximize their success, but I realized this is actually impeding them! With one child doing the Bow Tying frame, I kept moving the bow one row up while the child was tying the next bow. In my head, I was thinking “It’s pretty confusing that this bow is blocking some of their view, I’ll just move it.” Of course as soon as I did that, I realized “Oh, now she’s watching my hand instead. Crud.” I can’t believe I did it again later too with a completely different work…I feel like such a failure at Montessori. Watching a child do the Color Matching tablets, I see some aren’t lined up just right and instead of letting the child correct it for himself, I moved it. What’s funny, is I found that at the split second I went to move something into line, or into the correct order, the child makes a move to do it themselves. In that second, I went from thinking how helpful I was feeling, to feeling guilty for not trusting the child to do it independently. I know better now, and I’m making a conscious effort to let them do it alone. Part of their exploration of the materials is learning placement / trial and error. Montessori works are so well designed that the child has the ultimate level of success provided the lesson was given correctly. My interference with the child’s concentration is not optimal for them to see the dynamics of the activity. It’s a lesson learned for myself, for sure. Perhaps after demonstrating the lesson, I should try sitting on my hands to ensure I won’t fidget with their work! 🙂