Saturday, August 30, 2014

I am me

by Virginia Satir

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me
Everything that comes out of me is authentically me
Because I alone chose it – I own everything about me
My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
Whether they be to others or to myself – I own my fantasies,
My dreams, my hopes, my fears – I own all my triumphs and
Successes, all my failures and mistakes Because I own all of
Me, I can become intimately acquainted with me – by so doing
I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts – I know
There are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other
Aspects that I do not know – but as long as I am
Friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously
And hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles
And for ways to find out more about me – However I
Look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever
I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically
Me – If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought
And felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is
Unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that
Which I discarded – I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be
Productive to make sense and order out of the world of
People and things outside of me – I own me, and
therefore I can engineer me – I am me and
(thank you Ursula)

Updated Assistant's Album

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:
*Staff Handbook
*Phone List

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.