Expressive personality in a Montessori classroom? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 07-28-2009, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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DS will be 3.5 years to the day when he starts in the primary classroom this Fall. He is the absolute epitome of an expressive personality. He thrived in the Montessori toddler program, but really struggled to catch his stride in the primary classroom last Spring (we pulled him out for the summer early, allowing him a fresh start in the fall). His personality was a huge challenge to the teacher (he will have a different one this Fall) and I'm concerned how the Montessori method can mesh with an extremely expressive personality. He's very, very, very talkative and has a extremely high need for socialization. He's very confident in himself, but doesn't enjoy working independently (prefers groups where he can talk through things). He has an intense desire for approval and recognition from the teachers. He struggles to choose, focus on, and complete work without having a captive audience, despite the fact that he's displayed he's perfectly capable of doing the work independently. When he feels like he's being ignored or socially isolated, his behavior starts sliding, otherwise he's very agreeable and eager to learn.

He's matured a lot over the summer and has become a much better listener in terms of following directions and understanding when others need to be left alone. He does well in all of the activities he's participated in this summer (art, music, gymnastics, swimming, tee-ball) and I hope school will be the same. I would love nothing more than for him to be able to focus and work independently on works of his choice, but not sure how to get him to that point. I fully intend on having a conversation with his new teacher before the start of the term, I just don't know exactly what to say or specific suggestions for how he can "fit" within the Montessori classroom.

I'd especially appreciate input from any of you Montessori teachers out there.
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#2 of 3 Old 07-28-2009, 11:51 PM
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May I ask why they are giving you a different classroom or teacher?

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#3 of 3 Old 07-29-2009, 02:53 AM
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It looks like you have set some good goals in terms of wanting him to learn to work independently, with others, and learn how to respect other people's limits.

When I have an expressive child in the class like the one you're thinking of, I find the best thing to do is to be very exact on what the expectations are and have patience when those expectations are not met. I'm thinking more specific in terms of how and when to ask someone to work, when to let others work, etc.

Overall, expressive children do wonderfully because it's an environment where they can work together and also an environment where they can learn to accept boundaries.
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