Reflections on Montessori
Nahla Nasser, Lower and Middle School Principal
Every year, I spend some days of my summer at the Houston Montessori Center training teachers in the Lower and Upper Elementary Montessori levels and teaching a leadership course to heads of Montessori schools. Every year, I reflect on how to continue to sharpen my skills and knowledge and stay in touch with current research to inspire teachers and administrators.
Presenting Montessori lessons every year keeps me in contact with what St. Stephen’s teachers and students experience every day. It gives me the opportunity to connect with them when I visit the classrooms and to offer assistance with this lesson or that. Sometimes, St. Stephen’s teachers invite me to give presentations to their students, which I love!! When students see me as a teacher, they become comfortable coming to my office and talking to me during challenging situations. Ms. Ralene tells her students, “Ms. Nahla is your princi-pal. She is your pal.”
Supporting students, teachers, and parents is my number one priority. I thrive to achieve that by enhancing my own growth, attending professional development conferences, serving on AMS Onsite Accreditation Visiting Teams, reading and rereading books I find important in education, and connecting with other educators locally, nationally, and globally.
I share with St. Stephen’s teachers resources/webinars deemed essential to enrich our knowledge and expand our growth minds. We spend some of our faculty meeting times discussing topics viewed on webinars to exchange ideas, offer support to each other, and develop camaraderie.
Just as St. Stephen’s teachers and I continue our learning and training every year, I encourage parents to join us on this journey. One way is to participate in classroom observations in October. During those observations, parents have the opportunity to see the students and teachers in action. Another way is to attend Parent Education throughout the year. We focus on Montessori, IMYC (International Middle Year Curriculum), IB (International Baccalaureate), discipline, etc.
A great way for parents to hone their Montessori I.Q. is through reading and conversation. Build a Montessori library for yourself. Commit to read at least one book on Montessori methods this year, or a read a series of Montessori articles on the internet. Here are some books I especially find helpful, simple to read, and explain clearly the Montessori education. Montessori Today and Montessori – a Modern Approach by Paula Polk Lillard. Her daughter Angeline Stoll Lillard wrote a book based on research, which I also recommend, Montessori – The Science Behind the Genuis. Here are some websites I especially like: www.amshq.org (American Montessori Society) and www.Montessori.org (The Montessori Foundation) which may offer online newsletters and blogs. Be sure to use what you learn to create a consistent environment for your child at home and school. Here is a link https://amshq.org/Family-Resources/Montessori-at-Home about Montessori practices to use at home.
Thank you for joining me in reflection and discovery as we work as partners to serve each child.