Role of the Teacher

In a traditional classroom, we think of a teacher as presenting lessons to an entire class of students at once while standing at the front of the room. Montessori teachers operate very differently. Their role is to observe each child and present individual lessons when the child is ready for them. They spend their time moving about the classroom, watching the class at work, helping a child choose something to work on, presenting a lesson to one or two children at a time, answering questions, and posing provocative questions that promote learning. They don’t have to spend as much time managing classroom behavior because the children are actively absorbed in doing activities they have selected. Students in a Montessori classroom tend not to act out due to restlessness or boredom because they are busy concentrating on their work. The teacher controls the environment, not the children. A Montessori teacher is a guide, mentor, and friend.