Thank you for taking the time to observe in our environment. An observation is an opportunity for you to get a glimpse of how a Montessori environment functions. There are a few things to consider when you are observing in the classroom:
- The observation chair is an adult sized chair, intended for observers only. It is placed in a specific spot in the classroom. The children are aware of this. This is the space where observers can see the classroom from an open perspective, while allowing the environment to operate as usual with as little disruption as possible.
- The guide will not be available to answer any questions during the observation; please ensure you make note of any questions and feel free to ask after the observation is complete.
- The children may approach you. The best way to ensure that you are seeing an accurate depiction of the space is to politely say “Hello,” and tell them that you are here to see them do their work. Please refrain from engaging in conversation with them.
- When your observation is complete, please quietly exit the classroom; do not feel the need to say goodbye to the children or the guides. We thank you for joining us, and hope that you thoroughly enjoy your time in the environment.
When you are observing, you may want to take some of the following questions into consideration:
- Are the children choosing work independently?
- Is the guide the focal point of the classroom?
- How do the older children engage with the younger children (and vice versa)?
- Are the children focused on their work?
- How do the children solve conflict?
- How do children transition from one activity to the next?
- Is the environment productive? Respectful? Engaging?
“Wait while observing. That is the motto for the educator. Let us wait, and be always ready to share in both the joys and the difficulties which the child experiences. Let us have endless patience with his slow progress, and show enthusiasm and gladness at his success.” — Maria Montessori