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  • Becky Jones

Toddler 1 - December 2019

It’s the end of fall semester and we have seen so much growth in the last month: children who

are learning to use the potty, children who have learned some Spanish words (moño,

vamanos, caballo), and one child who, according to an older sibling, “learned how to hug!”

Montessori education is education for life. We are guiding the child in their natural tendency to

develop independence in their self-help skills and participation in the daily activities of our lives

together. These are the skills of executive functioning that will aid them in life long learning

and enhance the happiness they derive as members of a community.

The unique challenge and joy for toddler caregivers is this period referred to as the “crisis of

self-affirmation.” Toddlers begin to realize they are separate beings. They are moving towards

autonomy as evidenced by their emerging use of “no”, “my,” and “I.” At the same time, they

are still toddlers, so one day they insist “I do it!” and the next day they don’t want to do

anything without help!

It is the Montessori way to pause and observe before helping a child whose concentration is

absorbed in mastering a skill, especially if it is something we have previously noticed they can

do for themselves. One of the challenges and rewards of being a Montessori guide is learning

when and how much help to offer the toddler who is eager to participate in dressing

themselves after the potty or for going outside; so we show them how to flip their coats up and

over. We start the zipper and let them finish. We hold their hand for balance as they slip feet

into boots. We think of ways to let them be in control of their own bodies, even when they are

refusing a particular request. For example, after explaining it is cold outside and we need

mittens to stay warm, we ask the child who is saying “no” to mittens, “Would you like to put

the mittens in your pocket or shall we bring them outside in the basket?”

This month we added a shoe work to the classroom to address the toddlers’ desire to repeat an

activity that leads to independence. They can take the basket from the shelf and practice

putting on and removing a variety of shoes with different types of closures to their heart’s


We have also placed a “wish list” on the bulletin board in the entry way, for families who might

wish to donate materials to the classroom in the holiday spirit of giving. Now through

December 31, you can earn 10%-15% credit for Woodland (10% for individual orders over $25,

15% for group orders over $500) through Montessori Services. Just reference the school

customer number (also on the bulletin board) when ordering.

Thank you, parents, for making Parent/Teacher conferences such an enjoyable experience. We

are so happy with how well our class has settled into the toddler community and all the

progress they are making.

We hope you are looking forward to enjoying a fun and restful holiday season with lots of love

and celebration.


Becky Jones, Carolina Diaz and Tia Thao

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