Teachers’ taks is the one with high social value. Social community and parents have entrusted them to educate children, towards reaching social goals of education. The responsibility of teacher is multiple. The goals of education set by the community to a great extent depend on teachers’work, who are responsible to social community. It should be noted that teachers leave impact not only on children, but also on their parents, which makes their task more important. Their performance determine whether community will have professionally qualified and industrious workers, active citizens who will be able to contribute to building and developing their country.
Teachers are responsible to parents who have entrusted them their children with the task of educating them, and their educators as well. Teacher, educating them, influences their psychophysical development, develops their abilities and to a great extent determines their life path in future.
Teachers’task is very diverse and complex and it requires great commitment and resourcefulness. Teacher is supposed to possess certain qualities such as:
- High personal moral character and an example for reputation, supporting idol and authority to respect.
- Careful and human relationship with children: to love and respect childrens’personality and their dignity, to be cheerful and composed and not to be prone to psychological imbalance;
- Possession of certain skill set (knowledge in general and specialized pedagogy, child psychology and pedagogical psychology and methodology of education), wide general culture, that is to have clear scientific view of education, to be aware of their value and to know what methods and actions make children properly educated.
- Work on personal improvement: to continuously keep up with pedagogical, psychological and methodological innovations, constantly implementing them in their work and enriching their experience.
- Pedagogical realism: to accept children as they are, not as an object of normative influence.
- To possess the skill of work organization and to give certain help regardless of the form, age and working hours, and not regretting making the effort.
Maria Montessori points out that teacher has the role of a host in specially prepared environment, but not as the central figure, although her presence is strongly felt. Teacher, in fact, is a link between a child and surrounding.
Maria Montessori herself finished her speech in front of other teachers in India pointing out where the core goals of both teachers and parents are:
Help us, o God, to enter into the secret of childhood, so we may know love and serve the child in accordance with the lows thy justice and following the holly will. (Hainstock, 1978)
In early preschool Teacher provides a direct contact between a child and its evnoronment, activating all senses and practical activities, relying on the program which all children have in themselves. This program is based on a child’s interests and what a child is sensitive to, therefore, acihieving them he or she will acquire what they need. Teacher is more active while working with younger children, showing the use of certain materials and ogranizing selected activities starting with perceived needs of children.
Montessori teacher has a clear idea that knowledge of characteristics of items and objects is not meant to be shared with children. Teacher’s active role moves to the active role of a child. It doesn’t mean that teacher is relieved from the work, instead, the emphasis will be put on a more complex task without which Montessori practice could not exist: observing a child’s activities and monitoring his or her development. Teacher has to believe that a child will show his or her true nature once they discover what kind of activities they are keen on. It is important to notice this moment since it is the base for developing the skill of concentration. This is one of the goals that teachers are supposed to put all their energy into.
One of the difficulties that teachers are faced with is in fact the work upon themselves in order to change their roles. The role of a Montessori teacher is delicate and with multiple aspects – words, the energy for shouting and strictness not needed. The things they need are- wise and careful observation, serving, stepping back and being silent…
Theory of Montessori teacher training consists of: studying the meaning of terms that are important for a practical orientation; taking time to independently practice Montessori activities; experienced observation of difficult and interesting content of material, learned techniques of observation and the possession of the knowledge about interaction with parents.
It is difficult for the adults to imagine that a group of thirty pre-school children can friendly and productively work together in carefully prepared environment, without obvious external control by the teacher. There are several factors that help them to achieve this phenomenon.
Unlike younger children, who would gladly copy their teacher’s actions, the older children do not blindly accept the teacher’s models of accepted behaviour. Children’s “critical brains ask and challenge. Therefore, teacher makes use of their power of thinking and imagination to include them into the lessons of good behaviour.” Teacher uses drama and humor, creating new scenarios.
Montessori teacher should constantly strive to improve herself professionally and work upon herself to feel the joy of creation and learn how to enjoy together in interacion with the children.