What does a typical day look like at a Montessori training course?
When you get used to a routine and you keep yourself busy, time flies, days become weeks, weeks become months and before you know it, you are ready to go back home.
But getting used to that routine takes a while.
What does a typical day look like?
We arrived at Pebble Creek Life School at around 8.30 in the morning and some of the times we did practice for half an hour, until lectures started. That’s just because it was cooler in the morning.
At 9.00 am, Greg would enter the lecture room and fill it up with his smile and positive energy.
He would start every day with a song and then go on with presentations and we would start writing or typing. It was so funny, if you stopped for a second and listen to the background sound, it was all about fans and fingers touching keyboards.
Some days we had some issues with the sound system and the lectures started a little late. But even that was fun, watching Greg and the crew having soundchecks like we were about to attend a Metallica concert.
Recess and second block
At 10.30 we had our first break and we would go downstairs to have some tea and biscuits. We would chat, joke, laugh and pray for no power cuts in the second lecture session. Because, yeah, power cuts were pretty often, especially in May. And a room full of 90 people, with no AC or fans, at 430C temperature is not very pleasant, even for 10 minutes.
Hypnotized by Montessori presentations
After the break, Greg would go on with his lectures and we would go on being amazed by everything he showed us.
I remember sitting in the second row and being hypnotized by his presentations, just like a 6 years old child. Sometimes I even got frustrated that I wasn’t in a Montessori school when I was a child and I had to go to a traditional school and learn everything, mostly by memorizing.
Actually, some of the concepts I only understood after I saw the Montessori presentations. For example, reaching the binomial formula using the Montessori Binomial Cube.
It finally made sense! And when you think I had to memorize it, just like parrots do!
At 12.30 we had one hour break, to have lunch and relax for a bit. I used to eat fast and do another 30 minutes of practice because the room was empty and I could get any material I wanted.
After lunch, the energy for everybody was kind of low. But not for Greg. He maintained the same enthusiasm the whole day. Sometimes I wondered if he was human! But I guess, that’s what happens when you do what you love: train people to embrace Montessori.
We, humans, were all sleepy after lunch. And you could actually see people falling asleep on their chairs, during the last part of the day.
Afternoon: Supervised Practice of Montessori materials
Well, 3.00 p.m was time to stand up from our lecture chairs and move to the practice room we were assigned too. Every day it was a different practice room, which wasn’t very appealing.
The room downstairs was great, it had all the materials we needed, plus AC and fans. But the two rooms upstairs, on the last floor, weren’t that good. The materials were kind of different and the heat was unbearable. There was no AC and the air was almost unbreathable.
My bottle of water would become so hot in those rooms, that I couldn’t even drink the water anymore.
But I had to adjust and make it work.
In practice, not only we would do presentations and assist our colleagues doing theirs, but also take care of the environment. That means, every day, after we finished doing our practice, we had to pick an Area (Geometry, Language, Music) and clean up the space: wipe the dust, arrange the materials and make sure nothing is missing.
Some of us took care of the plants, some of us moped the floors etc. We all had small tasks for each day, just like we would require children in their own environment.
Kind of like: practice what you preach!
Explore the Montessori materials
And that helped us a lot, because it made us explore all the materials and learn their place on the shelves. Plus, it made us feel like we were contributing to the environment that offers us the chance to practice and get better at our presentations. It was a win-win situation!
As for practicing, it was so fun that sometimes we would just burst out laughing with tears. We would take turns in being the guide and the child, and repeat the presentations introduced to us by Greg, that very day.
Sometimes, we wouldn’t remember certain steps and make fun of each other, like saying we were asleep when he introduced that or that our mind was flying away, on a beach in Hawaii.
Ask your questions to the Montessori trainers
We had trainers in training which were supervising us during practice, and we would bug them with all sorts of questions and unclarities. And when they were nowhere to be found, we would go looking for Greg and bug him.
Once, I looked for him in the entire school only to come back in my practice room and find out he was there the whole time, but I just didn’t see him.
When practice was over, we would walk out of the classrooms like robots. Our only settings were: go home, take a shower, rest for an hour. But when we reached our homes, we always had the same thought: “We have so much work to do! No time for rest!”. So we sat our desks and started typing on our laptops until it was time to go to bed.
Cause the next day, we would start all over!