The Teacher

There needs to be a profound change in the character of the adult to successfully fulfill the role of a Montessori teacher. The adult has to put aside adjectives like omnipotence, power, authority, pride and vanity.

Another aspect to put aside is the idea that the teacher, the adult can create interest. As an adult you cannot create interest, you can only awaken it and try to keep the interest alive. In other words, the interest arises from within and needs to be fanned, like the flames of a fire, to keep it burning.

Therefore the teacher must keep the ability to observe and to keep an open mind. This means that the teacher has to be able to accept to be proved to be wrong. An idea, a conviction or belief, can now and then proved to be wrong. Than, the adult, the teacher shall take it for granted and see how, where and eventually when, something went ‘wrong’.

It is only with fresh, clear minds that children may be observed as they truly are. This helps the adult, the teacher to respond to the real needs of children rather than to preconceived ideas.

The adult should be able to consciously be ready to change character to be able to serve the child in the appropriate way. When the adult allows to get trained in the technique of observation, there will come a natural help in place; “…the adult feels interest and such interest is the motive power which creates the spirit of the scientist”.

In addition to having the precision of a scientist, the teacher should also posses the spiritual qualities of a saint.

These qualities together bring joy and serenity which characterize the next teacher. When she feels herself, aflame with interest, “seeing” the spiritual phenomena of the child, and experiences a serene joy and an insatiable eagerness in observing them, then she will know that she is “initiated”. Then she will begin to become a “teacher”.”

 (1971, p. 140-141)

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