June 13, 2024
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June 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

(Courtesy of Da’ehu) In Why Da’ehu: The Whole Child, we mentioned that students in a Montessori classroom have the same teacher for three years. Students benefit from a stable, predictable environment and are able to attend to their learning rather than having to adjust to new people and new routines every year. This is just the beginning of the list of benefits of the Da’ehu classroom.

Da’ehu teachers are able to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with their students over the course of those three years. Research places tremendous value on the teacher-student relationship and the chovas hatalmidim stresses the importance of the teacher learning to recognize and to understand the nuances of the neshama of each child. At Da’ehu, the primary job of the teacher is to study the student by closely observing the children and to study their learning choices so as to better fine tune each child’s learning environment and to provide the materials that will best stimulate each child.

In order to establish a three-year cycle, the Da’ehu classroom consists of a three-year age mix (e.g. ages 3, 4 and 5). The only new children brought into the class at the beginning of the year are those who are in the youngest group—the majority of the children are returning to the same classroom for their second and third year. Because of the mixed ages of the children, a culture of helping and caring for each other develops as the older children offer to help the younger. This fosters greater independence from the teacher than if the children were all the same age.

Just as we seek to reduce the students’ reliance on the teacher, we also seek to reduce the teacher’s reliance on the administration. Productivity experts such as Simon Sinek demonstrate that when supervisors trust and empower the staff they supervise, the quality of their work and their level of dedication increases dramatically. Education research has shown that this holds true of students and that we should entrust and empower them to rise to the challenge. It stands to reason that this should certainly apply to teachers; and the best way to teach children to be creative and independent learners is to surround them with creative and independent teachers.

At Da’ehu, teachers are expected to take ownership, not only of their classrooms but the entire continuum of the learning environment, which will be collaboratively managed by the small team of the five head-teachers. The job of the principal, like the responsibility of the teachers towards the students, is to observe and empower the teachers in a supportive and stimulating environment. This is the best way to produce top-notch teachers of tomorrow’s scholars, leaders and entrepreneurs.

These are just some of the advantages inherent in the basic classroom structure of Da’ehu Montessori. To learn more about the advantages of Da’ehu, call Gershom Tave at 973.356.3729.

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