How I Feel About Being a Montessori Teacher

by Musah Issah,  one of our two teachers From my candid opinion, comparative studies between the traditional system and the Montessori system shows some level of discrepancies. Due to differences in methodology and approaches, the traditional system which has proved successful over years is gradually loosing face due to some of its unpopular policies and ideas for instance, the system is ‘bookish and parroting’ where children learn by memorizing and repeating from what the teacher says, as to whether the child understands what he or she is learning is left unanswered by the system and undetermined by the teacher. I would not have been a teacher if not for the sake of the Montessori system, I love to teach, but not at the pre-school level, I know very well that teaching at that level is pretty difficult. Hence when the employment offer was made to me, my only worry was how to bring down myself to the level of these children, see from their point of view and understand things from their way of learning. Little did I knew the   Montessori system will cater for my problems and that I was only to guide and scaffold to enable the child develop his or her potentials. Secondly, the most interesting aspect of my story is when I have to resign my post as a Health Extension Worker to take up teaching as my new profession, this I believe as was a call in the right direction and the fact that the spirit of Maria Montessori is in me. Once upon a time in the class, after presenting a sorting exercise to a group, I tried to find out from the children who amongst us has the biggest fingers, but a little boy did not hesitate to point a finger to me and said you of course, because you are grown and you a man, when further asked when they will also grow to have the same fingers size as mine, again the boy said ‘we will eat food to grow’. But a girl sitting beside me disagrees with him and said it’s God who makes us to grow. I listened with keen interest as the children argued to settle on one of answers. What really interested me to capture this event in mind is that I slowly but surely began to understand how these children learn, although the boy who gave the two answers above was much younger    as compared to the girl who disagreed with him, I got to understand the different answers provided by the two children as a result of their level of understanding in the course of my studies under Piaggets cognitive development. In another development, a little girl was carrying out activity whiles singing to herself, I walked to her side and said to her ‘you do not sing whiles working’, you will not concentrate and besides you might disrupt other pupil’s attention, she obliged and focused on her work. But later during the day, she came to me and said I heard you singing in the class too, when I reminded her that, that was during break, she wouldn’t listen, but insisted that I sang in the class, so finally I said to her I’m sorry to which she nodded her head in response and left.It was clear from her understanding that she only wanted to tell me that I sang in the class, and as to whether it was during break or not, that was not a point to prevent her from raising her concern. Traditionally children do not ask too much questions from their elders, they either take instructions or remain silent amidst elders. The Montessori system is therefore seen in my view as a beacon of light which will enable these children to unravel their true identity, and to realize their full potentials as well as develop them to the highest ace. I and Mary are doing everything possible to give out our best, we are living by example in the class and together we promise to see to it that PambeGhana achieves its fullest mission in Ghana.In one of my usual times, I went into the community (Bumboazio) were I met some parents sitting under a shed, as soon as I took my seat, some of my students came around me, a parent tried to send them away but I stopped him, among my students was a boy carrying a ball in his hands, which a little boy cried over, one of the parent shouted at my student ‘give out the ball', but  my student remained adamant, I intervened by calling my student and had a tete-a-tete discussion with him, ‘he said to me that ball is mine, I said to him that ok, but for now you  are sitting by me and not playing with the ball, can you give it out for while, whiles we sit here and chat. I also added supposing you were in the in class, would you have sized materials with you, if you were not ready to use them, he smile and said no, and then he gave out the ball’. After all was set, with the little boy gone with the ball, most of the people in the shed looked at me with surprise, talking about the time and language I had to spend with my student in order to give out the ball, one parent said you are spoiling our children but then he said something that made me happy,he said may God help you with your work.Even after school, student teacher relationship is very cordial and normal as in school. There is a very strong child-teacher attachment in school, most parents are becoming fully aware of teachers role and the tasks ahead, parents complains about children interest in washing hands before and after eating, working with water after school and sometimes helps with household chores. I must say all forty children are doing well in the class, the progress of individual child is fantastic, problems I would not say there is any but rather challenges, but our weekly and monthly reviews with Madam Alice keeps we the teachers alert and abreast with new approaches to apply in the class, and  she is indeed a superb mentor.Well all said and done, so far so good, teachers, students and parents are working hand in hand, and together we say yes we can.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




Donate Today

Your Donation Today Will Help PAMBE Ghana Provide:
-- Teacher's salary
-- Children’s health insurance
-- Montessori materials
-- Teacher education

PAMBE Ghana is a 501(c)(3) registered charitable organization.