The end of the year activity of school picnics, performances, and graduations are, or soon will be, winding down. Your classrooms have been cleaned and prepared for a summer break, or your summer program. That extra surge of energy that keeps us going through the end of year is slowing down.
And now? It’s time for you. Your time to reflect on the year. Time to think about your experiences in the classroom this year. From first year teacher to those who have spent many a year working with students, families, and colleagues, it is a time to take a step back, to take a more objective look- and because it seems to be the nature of educators, to use those reflections to ever so slightly begin to “plan” for the year ahead.
In her book, A Delicate Task: Teaching and Learning on a Montessori Path, Catherine McTamaney suggests the following questions for us to reflect on during this time of slower pace.
What are you becoming?
In your teaching, where did you begin?
Where are you now?
Where are you going?
What is your personal evolution?
Questions for each of us to ponder in our own way. Perhaps you are a person who contemplates by writing in your journal, or one who enjoys a long, leisurely conversation with a fellow Montessori educator, maybe it’s a walk on the beach, a hike in the mountains, or just sitting in your favorite chair.
For each of us though, in our own way, this very act of intentional self-reflection is crucial to our ongoing transformation as Montessori educators. It is this transformation of the teacher, “…a new type of teacher” (Montessori, 2012) who can guide children with respect and acceptance. Can you answer for yourself- where am I now?
And then where am I going? What is my evolution? What goals do you have for yourself as you look toward the coming school year? Maybe its feeling more confident about serving the diversity of learners in your classroom. Maybe its thinking about ways that you and your co-teacher or assistant can improve your communication and work as a united team. Maybe its looking at partnering with parents and families in a way that best meets the child’s needs. What is your personal evolution? And how are you going to move in that direction?
The joy of being a Montessori educator, when we truly understand the transformation that Dr. Montessori speaks of, is the opportunity to improve our craft, our art, and our ability to serve our students.
“The tendency toward Perfection is the tendency of hope, of courage, of the suspension of disbelief.” “The tendency toward Perfection compels us to strive beyond our human limits and beyond our imaginations toward that complete, intact, best possible self.” (McTamaney, 2012)
McTamaney, C. (2012). A Delicate Task: Teaching and Learning on a Montessori Path. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse.
Montessori, M. (2012). The London Lectures. Amsterdam: Montessori-Pierson Publishing.
Thank you to Catherine McTamaney for sharing her incredible wisdom in A Delicate Task and for giving her permission to share her words with you.