Montessori Children are both Students and Teachers

Here's another throw-back IG Post from back in March 2015, that I wanted to share here too. 

Mixed-Age Classrooms hold so many benefits for all students! SJMS goes from 2.5 years to 6 years! 

Mixed-Age Classrooms hold so many benefits for all students! SJMS goes from 2.5 years to 6 years! 

Many people may look at this picture, and see two young students interacting at a table; and not see the many different types of skills being developed.

A huge part of the Montessori Method is "students leading students".

We believe that through encouraging and empowering students to be both students and teachers, there are amazing opportunities for both sides to gain skills development.

In this photo, one of our students is assisting another student with one of our Math Materials: The Fractions Puzzle.

The child stepping into the role of "student" is not only learning how to use the materials, she is also:

  • Learning that socially and emotionally, she can turn to her peers for guidance and support, without fear of judgement.
  • Forming a solid base of being comfortable going to a peer for help, which encourages life-long traits of how to work in a team, how to collaborate, how to work in partnership with another person, and how to function productively in collaborative projects.

Fast forward 20 years from now, and you can picture Montessori Graduates being the coworker that effectively leads high performance teams, mentors others but also accepts mentorship, and overall is successful in any team setting!

And for the student being the "teacher"; they are not only:

  • Helping to reinforce their own understanding of this learning material (as it is proven that teaching another person a skill assists the teacher in their own knowledge and understanding of that same skill),
  • They are also gaining incredible socio-emotional  skills!
  • They feel pride in helping a peer, in being a peer that others turn to for assistance, and in pride in their own knowledge and abilities.
  • They are also practicing their own skills of working collaboratively, expressing thoughts and directions clearly, and how to problem solve to reach a goal - the goal in this situation being to help a friend learn how to complete the Fraction Puzzle!

This core aspect of the Montessori Method - children being both students and teachers - is one of my favourite parts of the philosophy! 

Another core aspect that I love - that we as Educators are both teachers AND students.

I learn from my students every day - and what can be more rewarding than that.