Guided by the nature of parents
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Guided by the Nature of Parents. In a sentence, what’s the one issue with parents that brought you here today. Turn to someone you don’t know and introduce yourself. Tell them about a child you care deeply about. What are your hopes and dreams for that child?.

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Guided by the nature of parents

Guided by the Nature of Parents


In a sentence what s the one issue with parents that brought you here today

In a sentence, what’s the one issue with parents that brought you here today


Turn to someone you don t know and introduce yourself

Turn to someone you don’t know and introduce yourself

  • Tell them about a child you care deeply about.

  • What are your hopes and dreams for that child?


Guided by the nature of parents

Our paradigms are the source of our attitudes and behaviors.

We seldom question their accuracy; we’re usually even unaware that we have them.

We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are.


What is society s view of childhood

What is society’s view of childhood?


Guided by the nature of parents

A ‘paradigm shift’ is a change in the basic assumptions, or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science. (Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions)


Guided by the nature of parents

It turns out then, that children, by their very nature, are


Guided by the nature of parents

Have you ever met an adult who doesn't really love what they do, but just goes through the motions in their job and everyday life? Have you spoken with men and women who constantly complain, showing no visible passion for anything in the world? I'm sure that, like me, you have met those people.


Guided by the nature of parents

I've also seen the making of these adults in schools across our country: students who are consistently being "prepared" for the next test, assessment, or grade level . . . only to find out after graduation that they don't really know what they are passionate about.


Guided by the nature of parents

These are the same students who are never allowed to learn what they want in school. Forced down a curriculum path that we believe is "best for them," they discover it is a path that offers very little choice in subject matter and learning outcomes.


Guided by the nature of parents

We spend 14,256 hours in school between kindergarten and graduation. If we can't find a time for students to have some choice in their learning, then what are we doing with all those hours?


Guided by the nature of parents

What 20% time allows students to do is pick their own project and learning outcomes,[20% of the time] while still hitting all the standards and skills for their grade level.


Guided by the nature of parents

So, it’s OK to waste the other 80% of their time?!


The power of expectations

The Power of Expectations


Maria montessori understood this

Maria Montessori understood this

“The first step an intending Montessori teacher must take is to prepare herself. For one thing, she must keep her imagination alive; for whilst, in traditional schools, the teacher sees the immediate behavior of her pupils… the Montessori teacher is constantly looking for a child who is not yet there….


Guided by the nature of parents

She must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work.

She must free herself from all preconceived ideas concerning the levels at which the children may be. The many different types of children (meaning they are more or less deviated) must not worry her.

In her imagination she sees the single normalized type, which lives in a world of the spirit.”


So why is he talking about paradigms when he s supposed to talk about parents

So, why is he talking about paradigms when he’s supposed to talk about parents?

  • It shows what we’re up against with parents: overcoming the commonly held paradigm of childhood

  • It poses the question: could we also have a faulty paradigm, but of parents?


Guided by the nature of parents

  • Give us your children.

  • And have absolute faith in what we do.

  • Now, go away!


Maria montessori understood this1

Maria Montessori understood this

“The first step an intending Montessori teacher must take is to prepare herself. For one thing, she must keep her imagination alive; for whilst, in traditional schools, the teacher sees the immediate behavior of parents… the Montessori teacher is constantly looking for a parent who is not yet there….


Guided by the nature of parents

She must have a kind of faith that the parent will reveal himself through work.

She must free herself from all preconceived ideas. The many different types of parents (meaning they are more or less deviated) must not worry her.


Social outcomes

Social Outcomes

  • Empathy and a desire to stand up for the disadvantaged

  • Communication skills: confident and articulate at self-expression; also an effective listener

  • Relationships: good at making and keeping friends


Academic outcomes

Academic Outcomes

  • Solid fundamentals, but also a depth and breadth of knowledge

  • Critical thinking skills

  • An ability to learn


Personal characteristics

Personal Characteristics

  • Adaptable and Resourceful

  • Kind and generous

  • Independent


Determinism

Determinism

  • Genetic determinism: your grandfather did it to you

  • Psychic determinism: your parents did it to you

  • Environmental determinism: your boss, your spouse, your economic situation – someone or something in your environment is responsible for your situation


Guided by the nature of parents

Reactive statement

meaning

I am determined. There’s nothing I can do about it.

I’m not responsible

Something outside me – limited time – is controlling me

Someone else’s behavior is limiting me

I’m not free to choose my actions

  • That’s just the way I am.

  • He makes me so mad.

  • I can’t do that. I just don’t have the time.

  • “If only my wife was more patient.”

  • “I have to do it.”


The classic conditioned response diagram

The Classic Conditioned Response Diagram


Guided by the nature of parents

I am going to submit, that we can choose how we look at, what we expect from, how we relate to children AND parents


Guided by the nature of parents

You can’t change children or parents; but, you can change yourself.

And, you can create environments conducive to change


Guided by the nature of parents

Whether you call it parent outreach, parent partnerships or parent education, it’s about creating environments conducive to growth, development, self-discovery and transformation.

And that’s something we know quite a lot about.


Guided by the nature of parents

Since it is also about putting them in a frame of mind receptive to a new paradigm, it will need to help them disconnect from their conscious thinking, judging, criticizing mind, and allow their intuitive creative self to emerge.

It will also need to be disarming, and help them set aside their anxieties and defenses


Practices that help

Practices that help

Make it experiential

Create opportunities for self-awareness and awareness of surroundings

Pay careful attention to creating an emotional climate that is welcoming and non-threatening.

Include elements of surprise, lightness and humor, story and song

Incite the imagination


Guided by the nature of parents

What we know about creating environments conducive to growth, development, self-discovery and transformation

Although they are in a different plane of development, adults still display the same human tendencies that we observe among the children in our Montessori classrooms.

That shouldn’t be too surprising since they may be older but they are still human, after all.


Fundamental montessori practices

Fundamental Montessori practices

  • Adult humility

  • Belief in the innate potential and goodness of each

  • Respect for self-direction, self-motivation and choice

  • Take into account natural tendencies, developmental characteristics, sensitive periods

  • Teach by teaching, not correcting

  • Allow time for self-paced development

  • Provide opportunity for active engagement

  • Get out of the way, and let them do for themselves

  • Treat them as individuals

  • Observe, listen and prepare to respond


Respect for choice

Respect for Choice

From the first, let’s be careful not to sell our Montessori programs to parents, but instead to inform them and then respect their choice.


Guided by the nature of parents

Our job with prospective parents is to answer their questions in a way that describeswhat we do, fully and completely and unapologetically, but without selling.


Guided by the nature of parents

Let’s respect the fact that although Montessori might be right for every child, it might not be right for every parent.

It’s the parents’ job to choose; it’s our job to make sure that their choice is a fully informed one.


Take into account the sensitive periods of parents

Take into Account the Sensitive Periods of parents

Before their child is born and continuing through the first two years of life.


Guided by the nature of parents

Prenatal classes and parent/infant classes are a wonderful opportunity to reach parents when they are at their most open.


Guided by the nature of parents

Beginning with their first observation as a prospective parent and lasts through their child’s first few months in a Montessori classroom.


New parent orientation

New Parent Orientation

  • Introductions: “What did you see in your first observation?”

  • Edison’s Day: “What did you notice?”

  • What aspects of the home environment allow Edison to be a full participant?

  • The components of a Montessori lesson

  • Brainstorming ways to involve their children

  • Practical advice for the first day

  • I’ll be there for you

  • Orientation to the school, it’s mission, governance and history

  • What to expect as a new parent


Actual quotes from new parent orientation

Actual Quotes from New Parent Orientation

  • “It wasn’t chaos! Each child did as he wanted but without disrupting anyone else!”

  • “The toddlers were so focused, it kind of freaked me out!”

  • “Quiet, well-organized, with such respectful teachers.”

  • “The children were happily on task. I was surprised at the level of activities available.”

  • “From the youngest age they get experience in problem-solving. You let them figure it out on their own.”

  • “The children have the opportunity to explore with what appeals on any given day.”

  • “I noticed how the older children take care of the younger ones.”

  • “The teacher wasn’t involved with every child, but I had the sense she knew what each one was doing.”


Start adding to the emotional bank account

Start adding to the emotional bank account


Teach by teaching not by correcting

Teach by Teaching, Not by Correcting

How often do we forget this dictum when dealing with parents? Too often we stand with arms crossed, glaring at a parent who is late, or doing too much for a child, or behaving in some other way that offends our Montessori sensibilities.


Guided by the nature of parents

Instead, we can let go of our inclination to correct and look for a later teachable moment.


Allow time for self paced development

Allow time for self-paced development

In general, we are much more patient with the children in our care than with their parents, aren’t we?


Provide opportunity for active engagement

Provide opportunity for active engagement

Another human tendency is exploration, and we fully acknowledge the importance of it for children. And yet, how many of our events for parents are mostly lecture?


Guided by the nature of parents

Bed

Rest

Awake

Tired

Snooze

Catnap

Dream

Wake

Blanket

Doze

Slumber

Snore

Nap

Night

Peace

Yawn

Drowsy

Daydream


Connecting brain research with effective teaching by dr mariale hardiman johns hopkins university

Connecting Brain Research with Effective Teaching, by Dr. MarialeHardiman, Johns Hopkins University

  • The brain constantly searches for meaning and context

    • Start with ‘big picture” ideas, then break these into connected concept pieces

    • Relate students’ prior knowledge and understanding to new information to be processed


Designing the learning experience

Designing the Learning Experience

  • Concepts and skills taught in isolation are meaningless to students

    • Integrate disciplines

    • Devise meaningful ways for students to apply knowledge


Get out of the way and let them do for themselves

Get out of the way, and let them do for themselves

Ask rather than answer. If a child asks us a question, how do we respond?

After their first observation ask: What did you see? What were your impressions of the classroom?

After an activity or experience at a parent night, ask them what they learned from the experience


Guided by the nature of parents

“A sense of calm overlay the busyness. There was this peaceful sense of order underneath all of the activity that was taking place in a communal way. There was a rhythm to the classroom that I’ve never seen before. It was like a beautifully orchestrated dance.”


Let them speak first

Let them speak first.

At New Parent Orientation. By the time they finish sharing, they feel confirmed in their choice, and their minds are open to receive information.

At the beginning of a parent evening on mathematics, I might ask each parent to talk briefly about their own experiences with math as a child.


Opportunities to talk to each other

Opportunities to talk to each other

Helps parents combat the pressure they feel from friends, relatives and neighbors to conform

Parents will believe one another much more readily than they will believe us, and in this way they support one another’s decision.

Parent event focused on particular groups

Informal sharing


Treat them as individuals

Treat them as individuals

There’s no one-size-fits-all way of reaching out to them. I never feel that just because I wrote a good article for the newsletter that my work is done.

Parents expect a higher level of individual consideration from a Montessori school than from any other institution with which they interact.


Observe listen and prepare to respond

Observe, listen and prepare to respond

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They are either speaking, or preparing to speak.


Seek first to understand then to be understood

Seek first to understand, then to be understood

Understanding a parent’s situation and point of view first puts us in a better position to communicate effectively and with relevance.

Once a person feels understood, he or she is much more likely to let go of preconceptions and be open to new ideas.


Complaints about parents

Complaints about parents

  • They don’t listen.

  • They undo everything at home that I’m trying to do at school

  • They have unrealistic expectations

  • They just don’t get it!


Complaints about parents1

Complaints about parents

  • They’re always late.

  • They don’t appreciate how hard I work

  • They don’t appreciate their children

  • They are demanding and difficult


Complaints about parents2

Complaints about parents

  • “They don’t listen” becomes, “I will seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

  • “They just don’t get it!” becomes, “I am being creative in finding alternatives to reach the inner parent.”

  • “They have unrealistic expectations” becomes, “let’s look together at what we really want for our children and find our common ground.”


Complaints about parents3

Complaints about parents

  • “They’re always late” becomes, “I’d like to help you figure out a difficulty you’re having in your life.”

  • “They don’t appreciate how hard I work” becomes, “I choose to work really hard because I believe in what I’m doing.”


Complaints about parents4

Complaints about parents

  • “They don’t appreciate their children” becomes, let me show why I find your child so amazing.”

  • “They are demanding and difficult” becomes, “How can I help them reduce their anxiety and stress?”


The transition person

The Transition Person

I believe that giving wings to our children and to others means empowering them with the freedom to rise above negative scripting that had been passed down to us.

I believe it means becoming… a transition person. Instead of transferring those scripts to the next generation, we can change them


The transition person1

The Transition Person

In a very profound sense, we ARE transition people.

Let’s help each parent become a transition person too


To do that let s be like a flame which heartens all by its warmth enlivens and invites

To do that let’s be “like a flame which heartens all by its warmth, enlivens and invites”


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