Takeaways from the First Year of Being a Montessori Guide - The Children's House

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Takeaways from the First Year of Being a Montessori Guide

by Jaime Janiszewski
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Every step of my journey to becoming a guide has felt fortuitous, and I attribute much of this to the unwavering support of my colleagues, family, and friends. Their efforts, going above and beyond, have made my training and my first year in the classroom a genuinely enriching experience.


I began my work here as a substitute across every age group, which solidified for me that elementary was where my heart belonged. I served in an assistant role for two years while going through training, which offered incredible insight into my future practice. I entered my new classroom community with an experienced assistant who provided support, graciousness, and a sense of adventure. I inherited a group of positive parents who have made serving their children daily a joy. Finally, I entered a classroom filled with eager, smiling, giggly, happy, fun students who made every moment (even the hard ones) worth every ounce of effort. It truly takes a village of people to make the journey possible and worthwhile.

But what are my takeaways?

Be friendly with error! One of the most valuable lessons I've learned is to embrace mistakes, not just in the classroom but with the learners and myself. This lesson, repeatedly stressed by my trainer, has been a guiding principle in my practice. Mistakes lead to the most significant learning.

Trust in the 3-year cycle! If I trust in the beauty of the Montessori 3-year cycle, there is time to absorb, synthesize, practice, and master.

Observation is key! Honing this skill takes practice, time, and thoughtful reflection. Observation led Montessori to design, redesign, change, adapt, and perfect each material and lesson. Observation is vital to knowing the child. Observation is a critical component of any Montessori classroom, and it takes effort to be consistent.

Hold tight to what I learned in training! What is Montessori pedagogy? Why did Dr. Montessori do things the way she did? She invested decades of her life in the observation of children. She transferred that observation into concrete materials and a learning method that guides children to become their authentic selves. I can trust in that science.

One of the most rewarding lessons I've learned is that the joy and enthusiasm I bring to the classroom mirrors the pleasure the children experience in their learning. I feel a deep sense of fulfillment and gratitude as I enter the classroom daily, realizing how fortunate I am to be in this role.