The teacher in the Montessori classroom approaches instruction in a different way than teachers in a traditional classroom setting. You will not find a Montessori teacher standing at the front of the class and lecturing to students all day long. That model simply is not part of the Montessori Method of education. Instead, you will find that a Montessori teacher approaches instruction with the individual needs of each student in mind, with a long-term viewpoint, and in conjunction with the physical environment of the classroom.
With the individual needs of each student in mind
The Montessori teacher approaches instruction with the individual needs of each student in mind. In the Montessori Philosophy, every child is considered unique. This means that every child comes with his or her own set of needs and learning style. The Montessori teacher understands this and takes the time to observe and interact with each student in the classroom. Then, the teacher designs an individualized learning plan for each student. Students in the Montessori classroom do not fall behind and are not forced to wait for others to catch up because their course of study is based on their specific needs. This is a drastically different approach from public school where the focus is trying to provide every student with the same education.
With a long-term viewpoint
The Montessori teacher approaches instruction with a long-term viewpoint. The overarching goal of the Montessori Philosophy is to help students succeed in life. This means that what happens in the classroom is designed to provide long-term benefits for the students. There is no busywork or focus on short-term goals that are not a foundational part of longer-term goals. Students are provided with the time and instruction they need to fully grasp important concepts in order to create a solid foundation for future learning and success.
In conjunction with the physical environment of the classroom
The Montessori teacher approaches instruction in conjunction with the physical environment of the classroom. The Montessori classroom is more than just a space where the students and teachers gather. The classroom is an important part of the learning process. The Montessori classroom is full of opportunities for hands-on and independent learning. The teacher creates a prepared environment that is designed to be part of the teaching and learning process. When you observe a class at a Montessori school, you will see that each element of the classroom is set up with intention and used as part of the learning process.
The way that the Montessori teacher approaches instruction is a big part of what sets Montessori school apart from public school. It can be difficult to fully grasp the impact this has on student learning. The best way to understand how a Montessori teacher approaches instruction is to schedule a time and observe a class for yourself.