6 Sanity Saving Ideas for Beginning of the Year Montessori Public School

Posted by Montessori Kiwi on

1) Get information out to families before the school year starts.
Information is power ..... evidently..... Get out lots of information to families as soon as the school year begins or ideally even a week before school begins this will allay many 'fears' and 'issues' parents might have. If you have families that are not from a Montessori background insure there is lots of very accessible and specific information about Montessori that explains why you are doing things in this particular way.  Having a blog with links to good Montessori pages is very important.

2) Repeat step 1 - Send out information to families again in a slightly different form to number 1) maybe a week later, that hits on the key information  My aim was to have families read at least one set of information. Remember keep stuff in language that your parent community can understand. Quoting chapter and verse of Maria Montessori's works may not be appropriate for your community! If possible a parent open evening where children show their families around the class is a great ice breaker and way of bringing Montessori to life!
3) Have 'buddies' set up for the first week at school and write these down. I often had several new children starting on the first day - ARGH! I would write up their names and then ask for volunteers of children to be their buddy. I also had a back up buddy so if the first child was busy (or forgot!) there was a back up buddy to help. On the second day of the week change the buddies, perhaps using the child who was the 'back up' as the main buddy and bringing someone new in as the back up buddy - incredibly sanity saving when you have multiple children starting!

4) If you have children who are coming from non Montessori settings ensure there are things in the class they can do that are familiar and easy to understand as well as 'Montessori' things that will bring success. Board games, building blocks, reading books, colouring activities are all good first week activities that will keep you sane, keep morale high and give you time to learn about your students as you introduce the 'Montessori' materials to your NEW students.

5) Lots of 'grace and courtesy' activities. At the school I am at the moment  we have a 'rule' where we say : we do not swear at our school - for some of the children swearing is perfectly acceptable outside of school in the families they come from. Being specific and explaining why you have the rule is key!

6) Be Gentle on yourself! No your Public School Montessori class may not look like a Private Montessori schools video on youtube - however you will get there - it's just 'there' might look a little different to Pinterest, youtube or the Montessori books you have read! You have got this! :)
Bonus: If you have an assistant - YAHOO! Think creatively perhaps they could take out half the class for a game so you can focus on the new students, or they could work with a specific child or prepare a special activity for back to school ... Assistants rock!
This resource may also prove useful to you in getting the year started off well. It includes a teacher binder and start of the year activities and materials.

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