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Montessori-speak

October 18th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  4 Comments

Perhaps it is unfair to pin this on Montessori schools. Because we had some of this in our daughter’s preschool, which was without discernible doctrine. And really, I’m happy enough with my boy’s school, beyond a vague wish that we could actually afford it. But still. There is a way of speaking that the Montessori teacher excels at, and it drives me slightly insane. Clinically speaking, it involves referring to me in the third person though I am standing right there in front of the teacher. A recent snippet while dropping the boy off:

“Good morning Nico”

“Hallo”

“You don’t have your naptime bag?”

“Umm, no.”

“Maybe your daddy forgot to bring it?”

silence (the boy might have been equally confused by her speaking to me through him–I am, after all, standing RIGHT THERE)

“Your daddy must have forgotten the bag this morning.”

“mm”

“It’s okay this time. But daddy should bring your naptime bag after each weekend…”

I was tempted at this point, of course, to say to my son something like “maybe the teacher doesn’t know that daddy is standing right fucking here.” As if the teacher and I were a divorced couple communicating through our children in that annoying way that divorced couples sometimes do.

Instead, I broke down the fourth wall and spoke directly to my interlocutor, who, to her credit, was also able to communicate that way just as well. She explained that the naptime bag with sheets and other things my boy might pee on are sent home on Fridays, and need to be brought back on Mondays. There, that wasn’t hard to say, was it?

It’s fine. A small thing, of course. But as with many small things in Montessori, I’m sure the teachers would defend the pedagogy behind it with their lives. If they talked directly to the parents, no doubt, it would simply diminish the poor child which yet again has to listen as adults converse above them. But if a child-centered conversation means two adults talking through a preschooler, then count me out. Or, rather, tell the teacher to count daddy out.


Responses

  1. Vincent | CuteMonster.com says:

    October 18th, 2011at 2:30 pm(#)

    Having 2 children in a Montessori program, I can appreciate your frustration. You should know that many other parents share the same sentiment. On the upside, the Montessori program has shown tremendous results with my children as well as other kids I’ve witnessed. My son, now in kindergarten, is ahead of the curve in every aspect. That’s a good and bad. Sure he’s academically advanced, but maturity level wise, he would not be ready to skip a grade so he has to sit through subject matter he’s mastered all over again. Money well spent?….hmm…

    Vincent | CuteMonster.com

  2. BloggerFather says:

    October 18th, 2011at 4:17 pm(#)

    That’s funny. But are you sure it’s a Montessori thing and not a regular old low-self-esteem-and-no-social-skills from the teacher?

  3. dadwagon says:

    October 19th, 2011at 6:30 pm(#)

    @Vince: Montessori makes immature savants? That’s alright by me. At least they’re half advanced…

    @BloggerFather: Totally possible that I’m projecting on Montessori. She could well just be a little strange.

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