The role of the assistant in the classroom is often debated in the Montessori circles that I've encountered. In our bilingual school, because the assistant has a fundamental role in introducing the children to the Dutch language, her role is probably more active than it would be in other scenarios. I've personally always felt that an empowered and knowledgeable assistant is best equipped to help me carry out my role in the environment. Therefore, we take as much time as we can to practice and develop her skills.
A year ago I shared several documents that made up the Assistant's Album that we used in training our assistants. This year I spent some time during the summer honing its components and I like the new version much better.
Here is what it includes:
Introduction to the Montessori Method:
*About Maria Montessori (AMI Handout)
*Montessori vs. Traditional (AMI Handout)
*The prepared environment (AMI Handout)
*AMI Standards (AMI Handout)
Role of the Assistant:
*Assistant's Daily schedule
*Assistant's Training and introduction to the classroom (This is a bullet point list that takes us a whole morning to cover.)
*Assistant's Lessons (This is a list of the group games and lessons the assistant can carry out during the work period. It takes us about two sessions to cover all these lessons.)
*Presentations for each lesson.
*Assistant's end of the day tasks
*Communication Skills (One morning session to cover)
*Observation Skills (One morning session to cover)
*Montessori's Ten Commandments
Official School Documents:
I hope these documents can be of help to others out there in creating motivated, empowered and happy assistants out there. You can find links to the pdfs HERE.
Again, a disclaimer that I am not a trainer, and this was not taught to
me in my training, but in my years of work in the classroom it has
proved helpful to me and to all the (brave) women who have worked with
me in my room.