In previous TEFL blogs, I have written about my employment within a Montessori Elementary language school in Poland. To further my teaching career I have accepted a new job in a Montessori Pre-School. I’m passionate about the Montessori education method and combining it with a 21st Century TEFL teaching approach. Pushing the boundaries, challenging current ideas and asking new questions. I’m an experienced teacher of kids due to previous TEFL jobs and my training. Within summer camps and private language schools in Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Italy and the UK.
A Day in the Life of a Montessori Pre-School
I begin work at 8:30am each weekday arriving before the children. It’s my responsibility to make sure that the classroom is in order. The right working environment when I welcome the children. Breakfast is served and the children can arrange the food, available for the whole morning. They can choose what activities to engage in or what materials to use around the classroom. I invite children for one-to-one learning or group activities using these materials. Wooden blocks are used to focus on length, width, big and small showing the children examples. Asking them simple tasks and once they understand the process they are given a follow up. Such as drawing, measuring the blocks or making complex designs.
The children are Native Polish, therefore I can’t communicate with them since I don’t speak Polish. However, the language barrier isn’t a problem. I can use Montessori materials and teach them in English. Flashcards and vocabulary cards are a great resource. I’m currently designing my own vocabulary cards depicting animals from different continents. The children can match up different continents and then move onto to learning what animals can be found in each. A follow up for them could be to colour/ draw around the templates I provide. The purpose of these cards is to teach children visual English, spelling and pronunciation. They can match the words with pictures and then I ask them to read out a word, write it down or tell me where it lives.
On Thursdays, we sometimes go on excursions to the forest for nature walks. The children are given different tasks like: scavenger hunts, looking for Autumn colours, cleaning up the forest and animal watch. I read an article recently which suggested that children should be outside for 4-6 hours a day with an aim of at least 4 hours a week. I agree with this view and the Forest days incentive was thought up by my colleagues. Who I’m learning a great deal from and have been helpful during my start.
I’m into my first month of working as a Native English language Montessori Pre-School teacher and its great! Each day is different and challenging, keeping me on my feet and the rewards of teaching children are endless. This is a part time job and having the balance was the right decision as I can continue to teach teenagers and adults in another language school or privately.