Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
Editorial Archives
Every Montessori teacher recognizes the ‘click’. It’s personified in pictures of a child as she places the tiny top block on the pink tower. It’s that moment of epiphany when the face glows with the understanding that “I can do it.” As the adults who create the environments for our preschoolers to grow and learn in, our job is to:

• Prepare an environment where the child can function independently. This means to allow the infant to be unfettered by infant seats, play pens, strollers, and cribs. It means small tables and chairs, implements that fit tiny hands and stature, and quality tools like good pencils, real scissors, rakes that don’t break, and pitchers that really pour.

• Create spaces that invite the child. Materials must be available for when the child is interested, not taken down and made available when the adult wants. This means art material, intellectually stimulating books and toys, music that the child can play or turn on, and snacks that the child can chose freely. All that is available to the child must be artfully placed on shelves or tables and never be cluttered or overwhelming.

• Show the child how to do the work. We must show slowly and obviously, sometimes many times, how to achieve the object of the material. Mostly this is done with as few words as possible. If the child does the work differently from the way shown, it’s okay. If the materials are being abused, they must be put away until another time and another demonstration.

• Invite the child into our own worlds. What we enjoy or spend our time doing, our children want to do. Our children see everything, and they are driven to learn to function in our society. They want to help cook, do laundry, wash the car, garden, and work the computer. Our preschoolers have antennas about everything their parents say, do, and feel. When we react with enthusiasm to things like books, charity, and exercise, our children mimic us. When we react negatively to things like math, teachers, and other drivers, our children mimic us. If you want a barometer of your own actions, look at your child.

ª Be patient and stay out of the way. Montessori educators present material and learning many times and many different ways. Sometimes the internalization of true learning comes before we finish the lesson. Other times, the ‘click’ doesn’t come quickly. So we continue to present in other ways and we wait. Buddhists call this ‘click’ enlightenment, and they wait. So we wait and watch. When it happens, it’s a beautiful thing.