The Silence of the Teacher

“When the teacher shall have touched, in this way, soul for soul, each one of her pupils, a sign, a single word from her shall suffice; for each one will feel her in a living and vital way, will recognize her and will listen to her.” –Maria Montessori

Some quiet time alone

Some time to think.

So much can be accomplished without words, and yet so often I fall into the habit of talking too much, of thinking that if I just said it again, (perhaps more loudly!) I would be more effective. But one thing I admire about Montessori is the quiet, the things NOT said by the adult, the small signs and quiet directions, the attention to the essential rather than the superfluous. Seasoned Montessorians speak very little in the classroom, and I so enjoy being in their presence. They model for me the ability to focus on the essential message. It is a sacred connection the teacher has with the child, as Dr. Montessori’s quote above reveals, it is a connection among souls. We have an awesome responsibility to the child and to the future.

What a lofty but beautiful goal for the teacher to be connected in such a way with the child. Imagine the world we will create when each child has such a deeply connected adult guiding him or her in the essentials. Imagine what we can create with such a respectful, loving address of the human potential.

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Explore posts in the same categories: community, elementary education, faith, Montessori, Montessori Method

4 Comments on “The Silence of the Teacher”


  1. How gorgeous, and how true! You’re so right, sometimes you feel that if you say it one more time, it might be effective (but of course that’s never the case). It is a true blessing when you can look across the room at a child, and the two of you can communicate volumes with a smile and a nod. Just lovely!


  2. What a beautiful post. Thank you.


  3. […] How many times have you fallen into this trap as a parent? “So much can be accomplished without words, and yet so often I fall into the habit of talking too much, of thinking that if I just said it again, (perhaps more loudly!) I would be more effective.”  {Source: The Great Lessons} […]


  4. Thank you for the wonderful post. Sometimes I get frustrated with the lack of information out there about Montessori! I was looking for some info about not using words when giving a lesson. Your post was by far the best source.

    I hope to send you over some traffic from my blog:
    http://letslassothemoon.com/?p=586

    Again, thank you so much for explaining things so well. 🙂


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