Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Real Teacher

When I took my Montessori teacher training one of the many hand-outs I was given was the following list:

Guidelines for Teachers in a Montessori Classroom:

1.) Good general health and emotional stability
2.) Appears attractive
3.) Possesses personal internalized sense of order
4.) Moves gracefully
5.) Speaks with a quiet, well modulated voice
6.) Uses neither rough nor excessive affectionate physical handling of the children
7.) Exemplifies grace and courtesy to the children
8.) Teaches on child's physical and mental level
9.) Links child with the apparatus
10.) Gives varied lessons to all age levels
11.) Respects the dignity of children and teachers and parents
12.) Responds to children's physical, mental and emotional needs
13.) Draws upon community resources to enrich program
14.) Helps prepare environment consistent with maturation of sensitive periods of the class
15.) Maintains classroom orderliness and cleanliness

At the bottom of the paper it says: Source: Adapted from the AMS Guidelines 1986

Phew! What a list huh?
I gotta tell you, they left a few things off it. I've added some below.
16.) Possesses a willingness to be thrown up on if the need arises
17.) Provides a shoulder to cry on for: all children, co-teachers and parents when needed
18.) Demonstrates an ability to think on her(his) feet, is very flexible
19.) Patience, patience and more patience
20.) Talented musically (well, LOVES to sing anyway)
21.) Peaceful conflict resolution EXPERT
22.) Capable of being yelled at, even hit by a child having a tantrum and remaining calm
23.) Will work for little pay and even less recognition from society
24.) Has genuine interest in learning about EVERYTHING
25.) Doesn't mind repeating one's self
26.) Did I say possesses amazing amounts of patience?
27.) Abilities include but are not limited to: unclogging toilets, pronouncing dead fish, shoveling snow, detangling jumpropes, organizing and maintaining peace and safety on a sledding hill, comforting hurt feelings, making playdough, finding lost mittens...oh there just isn't enough space here.
28.) Capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound!
just kidding about that last one...

These people are amazing! I substituted yesterday in a 3-6 class and left feeling not only exhausted, but completely and totally in awe of my fellow teachers. How do they do it? Day in and day out arriving with a smile and gently reminding small people of often the same things they gently reminded them of the day before. As a mother of three I often go to bed feeling drained of all patience and energy. This is a hard job being a parent, no other job will ever be as challenging; this I know to be true. Being a care giver of children however, comes close. These amazing people I have the privilege of working with are all also mothers. They come to work and care for and love 16+ children each day only to return home and continue that role AND make dinner? Wow! It can be a thankless job also, if you loose sight of the small rewards through-out your day. Which is easy to do when you are tired on a Friday afternoon.

So, I would just like to say, to all you teachers out there:

Thank you, thank you for loving and learning along side our world's children. Thank you for giving and giving and giving more. Thank you for comforting hurts, sharing in discoveries, working through conflicts, providing opportunities for growth and learning, and for being safe, gentle and kind. Our world is a more beautiful place because of you.

~~with admiration and in appreciation


plaidshoes said...

What a wonderful post. I must admit that I loved your additions -all so true! I know when I come home (and it is only working a half day) that I need almost an hour to just decompress!

MommyKnitsJen said...

Thank You! I had one of those weeks this week. (A new student in Feb? AHHHHH!) It's so nice to feel appreciated when all my kids want to know is "When's dinner?".

Suzanne said...

What a wonderful post--thanks for this list to refect upon:-)

Susana Molinolo said...

I'll be the third to say 'wonderful post'!

Would you like to be the feature thank you note on my blog this Thursday? More info:

coastalgirl said...

What a great cut paper collage!

Where in the World?


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