Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be shifting my focus a bit closer to home as I profile each of the classrooms at my wonderful home away from home, The Montessori School of Ojai. Along with photographs of each classroom, the students in action, and a peep into the daily schedule of each of class, you’ll also be treated to a brief Q&A with the head teacher. First up is Room 2, which we at MSO call the Pre-K Room. Headed by Renee Warner, Room 2 is a new (re)addition to MSO. Take a glance inside and then read on for information about the teacher:
Welcome, Renee and Room 2!
- What does the school day look like in Room 2?
In the morning the kids come in and are greeted. We have morning group, during which we talk about our day, particularly our Specialists (PE, Art, Garden, or Spanish). We also do calendar, which involves talking about the weather and the seasons. On certain days kids bring in sharing items. After group, students choose work from their work charts and the shelves: Language, Math, Science, Geography, Writing, and Sensorial. Throughout the morning, the kids are busy, doing work. Here are some popular samples:
- Golden Bead addition
- The Spindle Box
- Sounds with objects
- Pink Boxes
- Practical lifepouring
- prepping their own cheese
- Working on continent maps
- Naming parts of the body
- Nut matching
- red rods
- Binomial cube
There is a midmorning break for snack and outside playtime. After recess, we join together for group, which involves stories, songs and hand-washing. Then Lunch! During after-lunch group we discuss our main unit (at the moment, it’s the Skeletal System) before finish up our work chart work. Class is dismissed with a song or by shaking hands goodbye.
- Describe your classroom in six (or seven!) words:
Creative, nurturing, inspiring, peaceful, developing, safe and exciting.
- What’s your favorite area of your classroom?
I love the Math area, particularly the Golden Beads.
- If you were a student, which work would you choose first?
- What do you find gives your students the most internal satisfaction? When they complete a specific task? When they help others? When they do their classroom job?
I love to see students mastering math concepts, particularly recognizing their numerals. It’s also amazing when an older child is able to show a younger child how to do a certain work.
- What do you bring to your classroom? Your enthusiasm? Your love of learning? Your large heart?
I bring an enthusiasm for enriching my students’ lives.
- What about the Montessori teaching philosophy most speaks to you as a teacher?
The thing about Montessori that speaks to me is that it’s an individualized philosophy. It acknowledges that not all children learn in the same way or at the same pace.
- What is the most important thing for parents to understand about Montessori schools?
I think parents should know that Montessori schools encourage their children to become independent and to challenge their abilities.
- If money, time and energy were no object, what would you want most for your classroom and your students? The school?
That’s exactly what I’d want! More time and money to enrich the students’ learning environment.
- What are your goals as a educator? (These can be long-term or short-term.)
My personal goal is to keep developing my teaching abilities so I can contribute my newfound knowledge.