How We Approach Challenges In A Montessori Environment
In any school environment, there are going to be behavioral challenges. As children learn and grow, they use behaviors that they believe help them get what they want or need. A Montessori teacher’s job is to think about what that child is trying to gain from the behavior and adapt the environment to help the child create healthy behaviors that help him or her secure the resource or understand their goal.
Understanding the Behavior
There are many questions a Montessori teacher might ask themselves to identify the root of the challenging behavior. The first thing to consider is the child’s basic needs. Depending on the child’s age, acting out can be a result of hunger, thirst, being tired, or feeling ill. Sometimes children need help being reminded to take care of their bodies. A Montessori teacher may look for trends related to problem behaviors so that they can encourage a child to allow him or herself to go to the bathroom, ask for a snack or a drink, and show them how to take care of their basic needs appropriately. Montessori teachers recognize that children do not do things to be bad and that there is something motivating the behavior. It may be that a child does not have the adequate problem-solving skills to be able to solve a dispute over toys.
Helping the Child Change the Challenge Behavior
The Montessori teacher strives to help the child change the problem behavior on his or her own by learning for themselves that it may not be the most appropriate reaction to the problem. Teachers may do this by helping them find another activity or behavior that gives them similar sensory feedback to the challenging behavior. It may be helpful for a child if the layout of the room changes to address the behavior.
A teacher does not try to change the child but may change the environment to help the child adapt. If there are certain spots in the room that create a hiding spot, a teacher may make it more open and less isolated. If a child continues to run through a part of the room, the teacher may move furniture around to make it more difficult to run. This approach helps the child learn to adjust to the environment and learn appropriate and healthy ways to work through thoughts and emotions.
We approach challenges in a way that promotes child growth at a Montessori school rather than a punitive style of teaching. It is important that we address the child as a whole and encourage children to adapt to their environment rather than change themselves to fit into it. If you have questions or are interested in enrolling your child at a Montessori school, please call Country Club Montessori School, located in Mansfield, Texas. Our number is 817-473-8585; we look forward to helping your child grow.