Courage, Brains, and Heart: Unlocking the Power of Montessori Education
Crystal Dahlmeier, M.Ed
Dr. Montessori wrote extensively about the preparation of the Montessori teacher and, in The Discovery of the Child, stated, “She must acquire moral alertness which has not hitherto been demanded by any other system, and this is revealed in her tranquillity, patience, charity, and humility. Not words, but virtues, are her main qualifications.” (Clio Press, 151)
Montessori teachers begin this process when they are in training, first learning the basics of Montessori philosophy and then reflecting upon and applying this new knowledge. Professional development opportunities, workshops, mentoring, observation and self-reflection assist teachers in continuing their growth throughout their careers.
However, transformative growth often requires more than casual reflection and observation. Transformation demands a willingness to question, to reexamine and to push towards a deeper connection with the self, with others and with Montessori philosophy. Through in-depth and ongoing examination, we can identify patterns of behavior that may be inconsistent with either our beliefs or Montessori philosophy. Such practices impact children and our abilities to meet their needs.
Through illustration and story, Crystal will share the stages of professional development, examine strategies that promote transformative growth and identify professional challenges we face as we become ‘The New Teacher’ that Montessori describes in her 1946 Lectures.
Crystal Dahlmeier received a BS in Biology from Marietta College and a M.Ed. in Montessori Education at Xavier University. She was lead teacher/principal at Xavier University Montessori Lab School for 13 years, where she also taught both graduate and undergraduate classes in Montessori and Early Childhood Education. Crystal received National Board Certification and is a PITC Certified Infant/Toddler Trainer. She has served as the Teacher Section Chair for the American Montessori Society and has taught in Montessori Programs in Perth, Western Australia, England, Seoul, S. Korea and China. She is Program Director Emerita at the Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education Teacher Education Program in Northern Kentucky. She continues to teach in that program and acts as a field consultant. Ms. Dahlmeier presents workshops nationally and internationally and has been a keynote speaker at Montessori conferences in New Zealand, Australia and England. Her articles have been published in Montessori journals and Young Children. Click here to listen to her podcast on The Prepared Environment.
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