We are very excited that you will be visiting us for an observation. We would like you to read and absorb the following guidelines for this observation. We strive to have as little interruption in the classroom as possible so that you will benefit from your observation. This is an opportunity for us to share with you what life is like Montessori-style through seeing children, teachers, learning materials, as well as the less tangible atmosphere that is “home” for your child for so much of his or her working day. We know from experience that what you will actually see will be coloured by your presence in the class. To minimize the disruption factor, we ask you to observe the following procedure:
- Observations are 20 minutes. This is to be fair to all parents. Please be on time and leave in a timely manner.
- The chairs have been placed in specific areas around the classroom. Please remain in your seat and refrain from moving it. If you can’t see your child working ask a teacher and they will assist you.
- Please refrain from initiating interaction with the children.
- When your child comes over to say hello, tell them how excited you are to see them work. If they continue to cling then take the time to observe the other children.
- As other children approach you and introduce themselves, say hello and tell them you have come to see them work. Use a quiet voice. Refrain from lengthy conversations.
- At the close of your visit, please stand up and exit the room quietly.
Here are some aspects of the Montessori classroom you may wish to watch for:
- Observe the children’s response to the total classroom: people, materials, etc.
- Notice how they initiate activities (independence).
- Note which activities are initiated by the child and which ones by the guide.
- Note the ability to concentrate and to be absorbed, how it varies from child to child, and how certain activities serve to focus their attention on an isolated stimulus.
- Notice how some children, even when distracted, return easily to their work.
- Watch the number of small groups and/or individual activities.
- Watch the interaction between the children. Is there teamwork, courtesy, etc.?
- Notice how the guide presents lessons and how some children may react differently to the same presentation.
Please note your questions and discoveries. You will be offered an opportunity to discuss them in our parent/teacher meetings.
Enjoy your observation.