Creating a Culture of Respect and Collaboration With Parents

"The principles of grace and courtesy are based in respect. During our Montessori training, we become conscious of what it means to “respect the child” and we begin the process of inculcating this respect so that it may infuse all of our interactions with children. As time passes, this becomes second nature, at least with the children in our community. As we grow and develop as Montessori teachers, these “habits of mind” necessarily extend to frame our work with parents and other professionals so that we can create a culture of respect and collaboration that surrounds the child with love and support."

So begins a NAMTA Journal article written by Sarah Werner Andrews, Director of Primary Training at MNW. In it, Sarah describes the concept and process of building cooperative relations between the parents and the school. She speaks about the perception of the teacher and parents as each being unique and particular to the life and personality of each child. How the teacher must see the positive in the child and have a natural respect and dignity so both want to act for the greater good and, likewise, must treat the parents as wanting to make their own contribution to their child as part of the whole-child community. Finally, suggesting that diverse views of the same child are one of the most valuable offerings of a school. Click here to read the entire article.

Further reading: Tending the Light: Essays on Montessori Education by John R. Snyder.  John describes in powerful, deep, and lovely language the philosophy, theory, and practice of his Montessori years. He developed his work with children and with their parents, with guides and with support staff, and with mentors, consultants, and administrators both at Austin Montessori School and beyond. Through his collected writings- writings for this school, as well as for conferences and professional publications- not only Montessorians but all who care about the lives of children can find a source of information, inspiration, and guidance. Click here to purchase a copy of Tending the Light.

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Posted on March 20, 2015 and filed under From MNW Staff, Resources, Parents.