By Kendyll Murray, Toddler A Support Teacher
This year has been an exciting growing experience for me. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work toward receiving my Infant/Toddler Credential through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. I knew that I would learn more about the Montessori philosophy and gain more insight on how to guide toddlers, but I had no idea it would have such an impact that it would change me as a person.
I have grown as a guide because I have learned how to spiritually prepare myself to be present with each child. I am aware of my actions and want to move and speak with intention, but most importantly I have learned how to step back and follow the child. Children are capable of so much and want to gain freedom and independence. It is exciting to watch them master something they have been working on. When I stop myself, watch and listen, I am always glad I didn’t step in too soon when I see the joy on a child’s face when a discovery is made.
Preparation of self is an important aspect of Montessori education, but preparation of the environment is important as well. I am so grateful to have been able to learn how to prepare a beautiful environment within which children can thrive. I have gained insight on how to make everything accessible to the exploring toddler, learned new ideas and work to implement in the classroom, and how to set up an intentional workspace. I love how the toddlers are able to participate in practical life activities that represent the self-care/environmental care routines they see being done at home.
I knew I was a Montessorian when I first started working at Walnut Farm and witnessed this amazing philosophy in action. I wasn’t familiar with Montessori, but it didn’t take me long to see how greatly it benefits the child. Now that I have been at Walnut Farm for two years and am halfway through the course, I am able to see why and how it greatly benefits the child. I am so thankful to be on this journey and to have the opportunity to do what I do every day.
“Before such attention and concentration have been attained, the teacher must learn to control herself so that the child’s spirit shall be free to expand and show its powers; the essence of her duty is not to interrupt the child in his efforts. This is a moment in which the delicacy of the teacher’s moral sensitiveness, acquired during her training, comes into play. She must learn that it is not easy to help, nor even, perhaps, to stand still and watch. Even when helping and serving the children, she must not cease to observe them, because the birth of concentration in a child is as delicate a phenomenon as the bursting of a bud into bloom. But she will not be watching with the aim of making her presence felt, or of helping the weaker ones by her own strength. She observes in order to recognize the child who has attained the power to concentrate and to admire the glorious rebirth of his spirit.”
-The Absorbent Mind