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New Teacher 
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MES-Member

Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:56 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Mexico/USA
Post New Teacher
Hello Everyone!
My name is Angie and I'm a new EFL and Spanish teacher fresh out of college. I am currently in Mexico and have a job to teach English at the Grade School level. In this past week of searching for materials this is probably one of the best websites that I have found... my big question is if anyone here knows about the Montessori method and some activities and/or suggestions to help me teach English in this very different environment.
:-D Thank you!! :-D


Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:00 pm
Profile YIM
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
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Angie - Welcome to forums! :smt006

I don't know much about the Montessori method. I wish I did. It sounds tough but it seems like a great learning experience and a chance to learn how to deal with multilevel students in the same class. Maybe someone else will be able to help you out.

Happy teaching,
Mark

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Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!


Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:55 am
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 3:59 pm
Posts: 42
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Hi amleone28!
I've only heard about Montessori, so I'm sorry to say that I also don't have any previous experiences to share...

However, I wonder what you see as the challenges you'll face with the method? Also, what types of activities, etc. will you use/need?

I can't speak specifically about Montessori, but I imagine (hope :) ) teachers can help with suggestions about types of activities that could be useful for you.
Best of luck in your new teaching position! It sounds very exciting. :D


Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:08 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:56 pm
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Location: Mexico/USA
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Well, the Montessori Method was introduced by Maria Montessori in Italy in the poor areas where there was a lot of drugs and crime... it's basically a way to teach kids to learn for themselves and not in the rigid traditional ways that have been implemented in the US and other countries. It was also introduced to teach the mentally challenged. There are no desks, only large tables, so that the kids can interact. The big problem I am facing is with discipline, becuase according to the method, you are not to punish them, but to show them what they are doing wrong by method of reflection. In this school there is a HUGE talent base, kids winning prizes that are honored all over Mexico so that they can get scholarships to continue their studies. I also have an issue of kids making fun of each other, because of a genetic illness, such as Down Syndrome, and that is pretty much in every class. They know it's not right, but as any kid does, they want to be considered "cool".
I need to find interactive activities and lessons and be able to keep control (this is my first time teaching 1st-6th grade). Yesterday was my first day and it went well enough. I also need to figure out how to implement implicit values in each class lesson. It's a nationwide implementation so the future generations can go above and beyond.
Thank you so much for any help that you can give me! I don't know if anyone knows any relaxation techniques that could help as well. :shock:


Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:13 pm
Profile YIM
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
Posts: 386
Location: Tohoku Japan
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Quote:
Montessori method


I must admit I have never heard of it


Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:17 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:50 am
Posts: 23
Location: Felipe Carrillo Puerto - Q.R., Mexico
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Hi Angie!
Wow - sounds like an interesting job.
I went to a Montessori school in Miami for a few years when I was a kid, so I know a bit about what it is like, but only from what I can remember as a kid.
It seems like a good place to be as a language teacher for kids since interactive activities and games are, I think, the best way to approach learning language for kids. I don't have any specific activities to offer right now, but I will think about it. For now be sure to read all the postings here and, of course, the amazing materials Mark has provided for us. His phonics books, in fact, remind me of these little booklets we had in Montessori school where we would write words and draw pictures to show there meanings. Also, check out other websites like www.englishrescue.com . As far a discipline - I'm not sure what to tell you accept that I don't usually punish kids in my classes anyway. I talk to them about problem behavior privately, encourage good behavior enthusiastically, and try to keep everyone involved so that they are less likely to misbehave. I know it must be much more challenging in a Montessori school, since the teacher has a bit less control. I think keeping everyone as focused as possible is the key, although that's no easy task!
Best of luck to you and I will try to think of something more to offer!


Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:41 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:49 pm
Posts: 9
Location: northern japan
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Angie,

I taught in a Montessori school for a little less than a year before I came over to Asia to be an ESL teacher.

Montessori schools and teaching techniques are excellent; however, implementation of the techniques are very difficult if you are in a non-Montessori school, atmosphere .

Kids teach themselves and each other. "Teachers" are there to provide support, encouragement. Whereas in a public school, the teacher gives commands, in a Montessori school a "teacher" uses questions to guide a students learning in order to try to open up exploration.

So, I guess, to get back to your original question: "my big question is if anyone here knows about the Montessori method and some activities and/or suggestions to help me teach English in this very different environment."

How have I used/applied my Montessori experiences to the ESL classroom? I try to get students helping the other students. If the students understand the games, I back off and let the students do everything. Also, I have changed the way I talk, trying not to use commands rather using participatory language, i.e. instead of "make a line," i say"let's make a line...". Also, another item is stance. It is easier (lazy) to talk to the children standing up, but that creates an authoritarian position; hence, I get down to eye level in order to create a more communicative position.

There are many subtle ways to change one's teaching via the Montessori method; its not just about using different games or decorating the room in a differnet manner, the biggest part has to do with re-focusing one's positioning and perspective, as well as altering one's teaching philosophy.

Hope this helps!

Joe


Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:52 am
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