“Help Me to Help Myself” – An Evening with Simone Davies

On March 28, 2019, some of our Odyssey teachers had the pleasure of joining Simone Davies, author of the Montessori Toddler, for an evening discussing toddlers, Montessori, and helping to bring calm to our classrooms and our homes.

Among the plethora of topics she covered, one point stood out to me in particular. She mentioned spending most of her time in her classroom “putting out fires” – providing help to children, preventing conflict, and dealing with all the little daily situations that arise.

Simone, as many Montessori teachers do, found that listening to the children and taking detailed unbiased notes provided all she needed to prepare her classroom to help prevent the fires and provide children with the tools to take action.

For one two hour session, she spent time noting each instance the children asked adult assistance for. Their requests ranged from replenishing toilet paper in the bathroom to supplying more thread for a stitching activity.

With the knowledge in hand, she went to set up her space so the children could help themselves. Some examples were an accessible basket for toilet paper supplies and spools full of thread that children could help themselves to.

Below are a few photos from our Montessori classrooms that serve a similar purpose – allowing the child to feel empowered, protecting that calm and concentration as the child does not need to rely on adult, and preparing our shelves and cupboards so that we are helping children help themselves.

At home, this could translate to setting up a hook at your child’s level for their coat, placing snacks at lower shelves, having a laundry hamper in place for their dirty clothes, and so much more. (Click the photo below to visit Simone Davies’ Montessori home tour #1 […] Montessori-style home in Mongolia at the Montessori Notebook)

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