Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Haven't Had a Lesson on That Work Yet...

I heard a wonderful story at lunch today. A couple of the AMS Primary Teachers at the school I was subbing at are taking their AMI Primary training. Today and tomorrow, an internationally recognized AMI consultant is visiting this school. She will spend time in each of the Primary classrooms (4) taking observation notes. Later, she will sit down with each of the teachers and discuss her observations with them individually.

During the time when the consultant was in one of the Primary classrooms, a child walked up to the lead teacher and asked for a lesson on the division circles. The teacher hesitated for a moment and then turned to the consultant and quietly said, without the student hearing, "I have not had a lesson on that work yet." She was referring to her AMI training which she completes next summer.

When the consultant heard the teacher's remark regarding not having had a lesson on the materials, she suggested that she give the lesson to the child instead and did. The lead teacher watched and witnessed the initial presentation of simply taking a few of the fraction circles to a working rug and sensorially manipulating them without giving any of the language.

Listening to this teacher tell her story, I couldn't help but think of how many times I have heard a child tell me that same thing when I substitute teach in a classroom or tell another child. To hear an adult say it out loud resonated within me as when something small stirs in you thoughts that result in new insights. I heard in her voice vulnerability, honesty and a humble self. She positioned herself as the student and the consultant as mentor, teacher of teachers. It was an ego-less act. The gift she received was to be able to see the work presented and to reap from that presentation the knowledge being offered her via the willing consultant.

It also made me think about the the 3-6 aged children in the classroom and the commitment that a multi-age environment has towards mentoring. I love the idea of a child observing their teacher learning from another teacher. It's all good.


kristin said...

Wow. I always believe this is true. That not only admitting you don't know the answer, but also showing how it find it is a life lesson! Btw, I'm here in Boston and very interested in becoming a Montessori teacher for age 6-9, but I do not know where to begin. Could you help me? I currently homeschool my daughter in the 'montessori' method, but really would also like to have some training so someday I could teach in a school. Thank you.

Susan Y. Dyer said...

Kristin - you should email me at sy.dyer@gmail.com

Susan Dyer
The Moveable Alphabet

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