Monday, September 24, 2007

Montessori Philosophy - Communicating with Parents

NAMC montessori teacher child communicating with parents

I overheard an interesting comment the other day from a colleague: “The children would be fine if it weren’t for their parents.” Taken aback, I thought about the meaning behind those words and wondered, since I’m a parent, did that comment include me, too?

Parents are essential to a child’s learning.

Montessori parents truly care about the education their children receive, which is one of the reasons they have chosen a Montessori education.

Additionally, they are concerned with their children’s development, and the person whom their child will become. Montessori parents have usually done extensive research into various educational methods and observed in several schools and settings. Above all else, they value their children and are truly vested in their growth – socially, emotionally, physically, and academically.

It is important to a child’s development that the parent and teacher form a solid partnership. Montessori teachers will have more success by working with parents to educate them not only on the Montessori Method, but also on how best to work with you, their child’s teacher.

Montessori Philosophy - Communicating with Parents

Open communication begins before school even starts. Welcome letters are sent home, phone calls to parents are made, back-to-school information nights are held, and frequent newsletters are sent home, all in an attempt to open the lines of communication. These are not only informative, but they help set the stage for open dialog down the road. If you, the Montessori teacher, come across as warm, caring, and approachable, parents are more likely to listen objectively when the time comes to discuss larger issues.

Steps to Calling a Parent Meeting
  • If calling during school hours, identify yourself and immediately reassure the parent that their child is not ill or hurt
  • Always begin with a positive statement. “Kayla is doing well adapting to her new school.”
  • Let the parents know the reason for the call. “I’d like to schedule a time to meet with you to discuss Kayla’s work in class.”
  • Give the parents a few options of available times. “I’m available on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternoon this week.”
  • Close your conversation on a cheerful note, restating the arranged time. “I’m looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday at 2:30.”

Parents are always grateful to hear how their children are progressing. Receiving regular information about their children makes parents more relaxed and supportive of the Montessori program, and potential anxiety over certain issues is usually easily managed, resulting in a positive outcome for all.

Related NAMC Blogs:
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, September 24, 2007.


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