I am new and a Montessori Teacher

Discussion in 'Montessori Archives' started by Tala14, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. Tala14

    Tala14 Rookie

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    Sep 5, 2003

    Hi! My name is Jen and I am a second year Montessori teacher. I hold a BA in Special Ed/Elementary Ed but I have not yet done my Toddler certification for the Montessori Education. I am always learning though! My school is Montessori all the way, but my director is open to bringing in other schools of thought as well. I work in a small school with 1 toddler room and 2 preschool rooms. I worked full time in the toddler room with another teacher who has been there a while and she was great to work with. We really had a great year between us. This year my director is joining us in that room since she was on maternity leave. This year I am working 3 days in the toddler room and 2 days in the preschool. I am more than happy for the experience end but I feel very undecided about my position within the school. Last year, they hired 3 of us. Only I am coming back from that year besides the staff that was already there. In April, a new girl started in the other preschool and they had her take the training. She has no degree besides this certification coming into this. I guess I feel like I've been short-changed in a way. Like here I am, I have more experience in teaching, I have a degree, and I felt a little over-looked. Now, I am teaching with her twice a week and I feel like I'm going to work "under" someone who is less educated than myself.. and I feel I'm having trouble with that... I feel like I should have had a classroom of my own before being a floater when it comes to seniority and when it comes down to education and such... If I am way off base, let me know. I've been fighting this feeling since I knew I was going to be a floater. Now I'm afraid they are going to try to keep me in this position.. and I feel I am much more qualified to have my own classroom, especially next year. Do you feel I am justified to feel this much turmoil? I mean, maybe its my ambition I'm fighting with but this has been difficult to swallow.
    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm working with the nicest person... thats not the issue. I have promised myself not to take it out on her that these decisions were made by my school, not by her. Just let me know what you all think.. maybe you can give me some perspective I'm not seeing. :) Thanks for listening.

    J
     
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  3. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    your experience

    I would agree with your feelings of being overlooked. I dont know if you were not available the same hours or your age is different. You seem to have more qualities that would make for a more experienced teacher then the woman you are working with. I too am montessori and will be in my soul, philosophy of teaching even when OUT of the montessori classroom. I just would not find the financial compensation for holding a Masters Degree in Montessori Ed AND 2 montessori certification AS WELL AS Elem. degree and Fla. certificate.Private montessori CANT afford to keep me if I dont want to compromise my lifestyle. Jen, good luck. There are a few of us here that have the Montessori experience, we welcome you!
     
  4. Tala14

    Tala14 Rookie

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    thank you :)

    Thank you for validating how I felt.. I thought maybe I was being foolish about how I felt. You know, I'm not sure why I didn't get first dibs on that position. She is actually my age or maybe a little younger than myself, I'm 26. Unless, they held it against me that I have a 18 month old, while she has no children. But still, what does having a child have to do with your career if they know your serious? My feeling is this, I'm going to show that I can handle both work for the classrooms. I'm not however, going to do everything there is to do nor am I going to bend over backwards so someone else can take the credit. I know I have to draw the line at some point... and when my contract rolls around again, I'll make sure next year that I either get a classroom... or I'll need to figure something else out... I do feel like I was overlooked and I shouldn't have been :)

    Thank you for welcoming me and thank you for replying :)

    J
     
  5. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Sep 6, 2003

    Welcome J,

    I am a primary teacher at a Montessori school. I sort of went through the same thing you did EXCEPT I had not finished my degree. They brought in a teacher with a degree.....but no classromm experience. This was for the primary....3-5's. In Md to work in a private school you do not need a degree in teaching...just any degree. Her was in business as is mine.

    I ended up taking over the room midyear because she just could not do it. HAha. It also caused me to finish up my degree online and I took a correspondence course to be certified in Montessori Primary this summer.

    Just do the very best you can and make sure you are super nice and helpful to the parents. They do talk...and talk alot to eachother and admin. If you are good she will figure it out.

    Sometimes you have to get really confident and march into that office and ask for the reason this was done. I learned to stand up for myself and not let others walk all over me. I am 50 so it took years of this.
    Eileen
     
  6. Tala14

    Tala14 Rookie

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    I need to be more confident

    I am so happy I have someone to talk to that understands where I am coming from. This teacher is everyone's "angel" who is crafty and artsy etc. But even I know, that that only goes so far. She subbed with me one day and we were at circle time. I was of coarse doing circle time, while she was supposed to be there helping the children stay quiet etc. This one child was literally chewing on his string of his boot and being disruptive... now after the upteenth time of hearing "Oh don't do that honey" etc... I realized only I could deal with this situation. You can't rationalize with a 3 year old. I treat them with respect but after asking a few times to stop, you need to take a more assertive action. I brought him over his own chair and asked him to sit there until he felt he could stop chewing on the string of his boot and listen to my words. I had no more problems after that. That happened with her with several children and it was a hard day. Last year, she had a strict teacher working with her that held those kids in check, this year its up to her and she has not dealt with that. So I think it will be a lesson to learn for her. Classroom management is a top priority in being able to run a learning environment where kids know what the expectations are. But like I said, I'm only doing so much. I'm not going to "run" the classroom when its not really mine to do so. I am going to let her lead because she is considered the lead. So let them figure out if she is good in that position or not. I like her, I just don't like how I was treated with the situation.
    It is really hard for me to be shrewd like this but I feel like this is a way of sticking up for myself and creating boundaries so I don't mess myself up. I am ambitious and its in me to be. I know at my next meeting, I need to be more confident and ask for what I want. I think after this year, I will have more experience than most of the new people. So I figure I'll do my best, be there for the children like I want to be, and be a team player. But not so much, that I'm hurting myself in the process. Its time I learned that I have to be in business for me and make sure I have my own needs met, too.

    J
     
  7. Tala14

    Tala14 Rookie

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    I forgot this too :)

    All last year and this past Spring, they told me how many good things everyone had to say about me from the parents... saying that they wanted to make sure I was one of their teachers and they were just so happy to have me in the preschool teaching since I will have my old toddlers from last year etc. So I think I have a good rap with the parents and the feedback, your right, is very helpful in promoting the teacher. I don't think though that those comments were strong enough in them considering me for that position... they already had their favorite already in mind... so thats my thoughts.
     
  8. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Sep 7, 2003

    Tala,

    Stick with your plan if you can. Last year we had a combined class with 2 teachers. Neither could control the class. I just kept doing my job. It was CHAOS. To top it all off, one of them lost a child at a field trip. We were at a pumpkinpatch and she was in charge of 2. I saw one of them playing at least a football field away from where she was. I asked her "Where is Emily?" She say Emily WHO????? WTF? Then she spun around looking pointed down the hill and said "There she is" We look her home in our car and she did not notice until we were driving off. When I got back to school I went into the office and relayed this. I also put it in writing. She was let go at the end of the week.

    I put a formal agreement in writing to take over the room and get a $5.oo increase in pay. They agreed. I said they need to split the room in 2 and give me one and the other teacher (half competent) the second room. They refused. I did this for a month and they gave my Notice (I had no contract).

    They gave me a position in the infant room and then the 3rd new teacher in another room(one I loved) quit and I took over that room. I am there this year with a contract as Teacher. I learned to stand up for myself through all this and am having a great year.

    This year there are 2 rooms. I am in the one that is totally alone. The large room is split with the other side being an afternoon enrichment one. That is a techer who came in mid year and she is sweet, bright, but cannot control kids and always has a messy room. Not my problem.

    I stuck to my guns in spite of all that was going on. I won big time. All 3 new teachers who started last year were gone by Feb.

    I am one of the best they have ever had and they realize it now.

    This angel teacher may fall right on her face and LET HER. Do not let a child get hurt but if she does something really dangerous..document it and give it to the office. I knew I did not have to do much when I saw the chaos of these new teachers. I knew they would fail on their own. Be patient. The cream will rise to the top and you are the cream.
    Eileen
     
  9. Tala14

    Tala14 Rookie

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    Sep 8, 2003

    Today was the first day of school

    Hello again :)

    Today was the first day of school and even through my regular days are to be there on just Tuesday/ Thursday, I was assigned to the first 2 Mondays of this month due to the teacher being new and the kids being new.
    The day went real smooth and she does have a way with the kids. Maybe she will be fine. Who knows? I like her well enough and she doesn't step on my toes which is good. I think I will continue to harbor some disappointment in the fact I was not offered that position, but oh well. Whether my director knows or not, I know my capabilities and no one can deny me the right to believe in myself. I plan on being more informed about the Montessori Method and increase my knowledge. Thus putting out great work and being involved in both classrooms. What more can I really do? Bitterness won't help me gain anymore respect, it will just hurt me more in the end anyway. So I look at it as a great way to look better in the future on my resume.
    I do intend to learn more about the preschool program though, so I don't have to live in limbo about certain things the children are meant to do over the course of a day. In the toddler room, we don't keep that kind of record where we want to chart their activities. Preschool is different in that way and I guess, I'll look at it as a little more record keeping than usual.
    From here on out, I'm just going to accept what I've been given but I will be looking for more respect and acknowledgement next time around.

    J
     
  10. Tala14

    Tala14 Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2003

    An update

    Today I went to my director and asked for more knowledge on the materials in the preschool setting. I felt that I needed to understand exactly what I was doing and that it was very imperative that I do know what is going on. I feel that I have not had enough specific training on how to present materials and how to demonstrate activities that I know are essential for that child to handle and understand the work correctly. More so, my first year was spent in a sort of limbo since I didn't know what I was doing making work. I plan on changing that completely and putting my foot down at once to get the proper knowledge. It was only the 3rd day of school, but I needed to make it known that I am concerned about being in a classroom that I have not been trained in. I don't want to be just a "body".
    As for my co-teacher, I am happy with her and I just hope for a good year free of trouble.

    Jen
     
  11. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Sep 10, 2003

    Jen,

    what did she tell you? Do you want some good websites to read? We had a staff meeting last night and 5 people are leaving within the next 2 weeks. One reason...tyrant director. I took a leave of abscence last year for a bit because of her. I told her IF I came back..she had to treat me better. She did and we get along pretty good now. I run a good room and she knows she is lucky to have me. She just needs to leave me alone and let me do my job.

    Eileen
     
  12. austeach

    austeach Companion

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    Sep 10, 2003

    I have found these postings interesting and am curious to find out more about the Montessori way of teaching. We have very few Montessori schools over here and I have never met anyone who teaches, or has taught, in a Montessori setting. Can you suggest any good sites where I may get a little more info? Thanks.
     
  13. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Sep 11, 2003

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2003
  14. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Sep 11, 2003

    You can also see if a library/bookstore near you has the book "A Parent's Guide to the Montessori Classroom" by Aline Wolf. It gives a GREAT overview of the Montessori philosophy, curriculum and classroom. It's a small, thin blue book. If you bought it, it's usually about $6.
     
  15. Tala14

    Tala14 Rookie

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    Response to MD

    Well, it was funny because the minute I said what I said to her, they immediately set up a time for Monday for us to get together and start going through the materials... it was fast, but you know what... it may have never happened without me voicing my concern. That was a good thing. I found that they were responsive nevertheless.
    That is crazy... 5 people leaving in that short of a time period. Sometimes, that just makes you crazy, when you have someone on you all the time. See, my director can be hard on you and may not realize she is, but that is why I covered my butt by requesting to be trained on those materials.. NOW before anyone could have the chance of treating me like a door mat and using me as a scapegoat in any shape or form. I mostly have a fear of that from my student teaching days when I had a HORRIBLE woman who was my co-teacher and insulted me greatly... first time and last time that is EVER happening to me. Forget that! So I'm literally doing my best to know it all and keep my nose clean and out of trouble. You know, no matter where you are, there is always politics.
    Websites would be great, I want to get as much information as possbile at this point because I just want to be successful and show the children the correct way of doing work that I am not familiar with. :)

    Jen
     
  16. Tala14

    Tala14 Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2003

    mommaruthie

    Thank you for all those great websites, I saved them in my favorites and will check them out as soon as I can. Thanks again! :)

    Jen
     
  17. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    they are all the same

    Honestly, i did a search for AJ once on the difference between montessori and traditional. She needed the layout for something so i wanted to give her a variety to print from! They are all saying the same basicly. If you have any questions or need any help, come back and post!
     
  18. Tala14

    Tala14 Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2003

    Thank you for letting me know :) I'll definitely post if I need help! Thank you again!

    Jen
     
  19. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2003

    I teach traditional Pre-K in a traditional school.
    I love Montessori ideas.
    I think it would be great to have "our" own thread.
    I have sooooooooooo many questions.
    (Amanda-are you listening?:) )
     
  20. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2003

    Hi mommieruthie
    I went to the websites you suggested, but they all have the same traditional vs Montessori info on them. Are there any sites for learning about activites or exchanging of ideas?
    Since I learned about the push pin activity - I am VERY eager to learn some more.
     
  21. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Sep 13, 2003

    Here's a few sites that give your more information about Montessori, and have links to other sites:
    http://www.amshq.org/
    http://www.montessori.org/
    http://www.montessori.edu/
    We (Ruth, Eileen, Tara, Shilo (once she moves and gets settled), myself and any other "Montessorians" could give you tons of ideas I'm sure...I say pick an area of the Montessori classroom (Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Science, Cultural Studies...) and we'll list ideas. Now, if Amanda could give us our own forum (hint hint) we could list a thread on each. I love sharing ideas!
     
  22. austeach

    austeach Companion

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    Sep 13, 2003

    Science - Grade 3/4 level would be a GREAT start.:D That is our school's priority for this year and I am having trouble getting the kids to think for themselves or think ahead during activities. Montessori sounds the way to go here.
    I have looked at a few sites and am eager to learn more, but can't find a great deal of info about training in West Aus. Still looking.
     
  23. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Sep 14, 2003

    jenny chen album

    I cant remember the web url for jenny chen albums on line but you can do a search on the web.
    Also, www.moteaco.com has albums on line
    American montessori society web site might offer 'training' information. I know there are internet programs but research first if the albums you get from the training are any good.

    Albums are our lesson plans or scripts. its the dialogue and steps to using each apparatus. montessori r&d sells them for a reasonable price.
    Each course that you take has a separate album. My albums were required to be with notes AND photos or drawings for each activity. Some trainings (north carolina)require you to write your own steps and type it all out. (barry Univ) purchases theirs from Pamela Lenarro (sp?)
     
  24. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    resource swapping

    I want to get together AJ now AJK! also upsadaisy is in west palm and trade resources! I would say we could meet at a office depot somewhere to make copies immediately.? If any of you southern or north of fortlauderdale gals want to meet for trading stuff let me know!

    All you interested in learning more MUST find a montessori homeschooling website by doing a search for free montessori homeschooling materials. You will find a plethora of ideas. Also, my favorite online resource is the enchanted learning printables with the fill in the blank label the different parts in english, spanish, german, italian, french....
    www.enchantedlearning.com is a must BOOKMARK to FAVORITES

    "I could turn a paper clip in to a montessori lesson":D
     
  25. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Sep 14, 2003

    I'd love to share ideas, give me a month or so (after the first teacher workday?) to get my classsroom materials organized again and I'll shlep it all to a meeting place somewhere. Anyone else want to come with?

    Re Albums/Manuals and Training:
    I took my training at Barry University with AWESOME teachers! My Practical Life, Sensorial, and Cultural Studies albums were purchased from a company (they're at school I don't remember which), but we needed to take and insert the pictures that go with each lesson, and make necessary notations. My Math and Language albums were written by my teacher, they were in the early stages of development so we edited for her as we went along, we also had to take and insert the pictures that go with each lesson. For each subject we each had to create an original lesson and write up for it. I don't have a science manual, we used the 101 Experiment books, and a book called Young Child As Scientist. We also had to create projects. My training is only early childhood (ages 3-5) but Barry has an elementary training program also. The thing I liked most about my Montessori training is we are taught the lessons just as you would teach them to the children. Your methods classes are all 100% hands on. Tests are only giving the lessons correctly with the teacher as the student. There are also philosophy classes that go into depth about Montessori education. I would highly reccommend Barry's program to anyone interested in Montessori education (of course I'm a bit biased). They have graduate and undergraduate programs. Here's their website for the pre-k/primary Montessori program: http://www.barry.edu/ed/elem/montessori/why.htm If you want to find out more let me know. AJK
     
  26. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    barry univ

    did you have ijya tullous or sister esnard? I also had two teachers who came from Spadie to teach us for math (jose) and language arts (martha). Someone came from michigan to teach the science program. I thought it was pam lenarro herself but i may be wrong.

    My certification/masters program is from Barry also. I LOVED the classes and all the little projects. I call the girls i work with or those i took classes with my montessori sisters. It does become a family almost cult like. Kinship.

    Anyways, I have my practical life and sensorial preschool albums that i created from an assistant who had the albums. I personally had to put to gether the entire 6-9 and 9-12 albums only adding pictures and notations but its still envaluable to me. It ISNT the album stuff that i want to trade but the other creative stuff. In fact, i can give you the entire science curriculum that I created FROM the albums such as zoology and botany parts of lessons. I also have a HUGE collection of PAPERCUTS and other resources. Maybe someday AJK you might have a use for the 'upper' grades (k or 1st grade?) What I create or make I leave for the class. What i have purchased: inprint, montessori n such, montessori made manageable, montessori hand made are the only ones i purchased from in the last ten years. I ALWAYS remake the materials when i move on to another school. The masters are mine to keep so I can recreate them.

    Each summer I create a BIG lesson. My husband says I should sell it. See ebay and how there is someone on who makes and sells, my husband says create your own internet business and market thru the local schools. Last summer I created my family web page www.ruthandmike.com and also the rhyming/house materials. (every year I had to remake this lesson and was tired of MANUALLY doing it.) I put it together with velcro, no more bakery string.... I gave it to amanda because i think its soooooo valuable even to a non montessori classroom. This summer I moved and didnt get time to update my family website. Instead I recreated the entire neinhaus grammar boxes that are used in the elem. room. My public school students get a free montessori education! I love it and love to share. If you or anyone wants to 'get together' (all my stuff is in my house/ as i have nooooo classroom) (cafeteria for now thats another story- urgh) I will grab some totes, fill them up and schlep to a midpoint! Lets try before Thanksgiving! ruth:D
     
  27. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Sep 14, 2003

    I had Sr. Leonor Esnard who I absolutely adore. She is wonderful!!! She comes to my school to teach a course for some of our untrained (Montessori-wise) teachers this year. For my method classes I had Maria Singer (who was writing her own albums). Only for science did I have Dr. Tullous, but I know she teaches most of the method classes for elementary and I think pre-k/primary now, too. They were wonderful. I loved Barry...met my hubby there!
    Yes, I say we try to meet before Thanksgiving and swap materials. I'm very interested in science, cultural studies, and reading, but I'll take and share anything. I'll try to organize over the next few weeks and in October we'll look at calendars and zero in on a date, sound good?
     
  28. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Its a small world after all

    sounds great to me


    Any one else interested?
     
  29. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Sep 14, 2003

    Eileen (and anyone else) I'd really like some info on toddler lessons. Does anyone have a toddler book or manual? I have a lot of kids with developmental delays in my class and I know they could benefit from some toddler materials....
     
  30. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 14, 2003

    I'd love to meet you gals - don't hold it against me that I'm not Montessori, though. Our pre-K/K is Montessori and awesome. Otherwise we're traditional. I'll look for the date.
     
  31. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2003

    I'm interested but I live in Western NY.
     
  32. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    free bed and breakfast!

    Come on down, Id wait to know where Isabel is going to hit first! You are welcome to make the trip and stay here.... plenty of space. ruthj
     
  33. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Sep 19, 2003

    AJK...after this hurricane crap if over I can help you with some toddler lessons..maybe next week. I have some pictures and I can scan them and send them to you.

    Eileen
     
  34. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Sep 19, 2003

    That would be great! Thank You!
     
  35. mlopez

    mlopez New Member

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    Jan 27, 2005

    Fellow Montessorian

    :love:
     

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