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  1. #1
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    Simon43's Avatar
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    Kiddies, I am now a Montessori teacher

    And to prove it.



    Maria Montessori was an Italian educator who introduced a new style of teaching for pre-school and kindergarten children. Initially, she used her ideas to try to assist kids with 'special needs', rather than mainstream children. But so successful were here ideas, that they were then introduced into mainstream schools.

    Today, many parents want their children to have a Montessori education, but maybe without fully understanding exactly what it means. Most people think that Montessori is all about letting the child learn without someone actually 'teaching' them.

    Well, that's not the full story. Montessori education for the youngest kids involves a teaching phase and a guiding phase. There is some very direct, one-on-one teaching of basic activities that a young child needs to know, such as dressing themselves, doing up buttons and zips, cleaning their teeth, covering their mouth when coughing etc. These activities form the basis of Montessori.

    The second phase is the guided phase, where the child is isolated from external influences or interruptions, provided with some sensory apparatus, and encouraged to play and learn on their own all about that item. So the apparatus might be something to help the child explore about temperature or sound or touch etc.

    The teacher is not a teacher, but a guider or 'director'. Their purpose is to introduce the child to the apparatus, encourage them to explore, and to deliver a quick slap across the back of the head if the young kid tries to eat the apparatus.

    As to why I am a qualified Montessori teacher (as well as qualified in other pre-school/KG skills). This is all part of my long-term project to seduce as many of the young, female teachers at my school as is humanly possible, (since the availability of decent women in Naypyidaw seems almost non-existent).

    I do a lot of in-class teaching of the young kids, and that's all lots of fun. But I also train the local teachers in useful skills, such as good pronunciation, recognising kids with learning problems, and the best way to administer a backhand slap.

    I hold regular training workshops on these various classroom skills, but some of the most naive teachers maybe need some more personal tuition - I'm willing to give them some personal help, perhaps after school hours
    Groping women when you're old is fine - everyone thinks you're senile

  2. #2
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    crackerjack101's Avatar
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    Interesting. I completed the M course in Perugia many years ago. Where did you do yours?

  3. #3
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    Simon43's Avatar
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    Interesting. I completed the M course in Perugia many years ago. Where did you do yours?
    Alas, this was only an online course, albeit a very comprehensive course. The ACT offer several interesting teaching courses, mostly concerned with teaching pre-school and KG kids.

  4. #4
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    Good, so now you have no excuse ever again to build a motel, teaching is keeping you out of mischief and away from bar girls.

  5. #5
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    Simon43's Avatar
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    Good, so now you have no excuse ever again to build a motel, teaching is keeping you out of mischief and away from bar girls.
    Well, the economy in Thailand (and lack of funds) stops me building another small hotel.

    As for the bar girls, I only ever got involved with 1 bar girl, so please don't give the impression that I'm hanging out in Soi Cowboy every night

    OTOH, there are many business opportunities in Myanmar. I'm working on 2 different online businesses - just writing the software for them right now.

  6. #6
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    Good on you Simon. I admire your efforts - most teachers are locked into that vocation, with little ability and/or desire to attempt any form of business.

    Wish you the best, chook dee krup!

  7. #7
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    Well, teaching is not such a bad profession, especially if you land a good job (as I feel that I have). I've taught teens and adults before, which is fine. But because the level of English is higher, it takes more preparation time, more time to provide explanations to students, more time to mark students' homework/exams etc.

    Now with KG kids, it's all about getting them to pronounce letter sounds correctly and simple grammar and vocab groups. I'd rather teach the days of the week to a class of KG kids and then relax in the staff room, rather than teaching higher-level Physics and Maths (which I am able to teach 'cos of my MSc degree), to a class of unruly teen boys.

    As to the software ideas, I'm working on setting up an online teaching platform in Myanmar. Because of the crap internet connectivity between Myanmar and the rest of the world, it is difficult to do online teaching of say, students in China or Vietnam (I know because I tried, and the international connectivity let me down).

    But within Myanmar, the new mobile networks provide very good and reliable coverage throughout the country. Furthermore, LINE app is quite popular, and LINE app uses low bandwidth for audio and video chat, when compared with Skype or other chat apps.

    My teaching platform is primarily intended for Myanmar teachers to teach online to Myanmar students, and that could be teaching English to kids or teaching Maths to adults in Myanmar-sa language or whatever.

    I take a small cut of the lesson fees.

    The banking system in Myanmar is not sufficiently connected to the outside world to allow use of Paypal for lesson payments. But there is a standalone online payment system in Myanmar (Myanpay) which allows Myanmar people to pay online using their Myanmar bank card. So I'm integrating that payment system into my software.

    What are the plus points about my idea?:

    - I will make some money
    - Myanmar teachers will have the opportunity to teach online and make money, regardless of where they are located in the country
    - Myanmar students of all ages will be able to study from virtually any location in the country, using LINE app on their mobile phones, (data rates in Myanmar seem much cheaper than Thailand and there are 3G and 4G networks) Mobile phone usage is increasing at a rapid pace and most adults now have a mobile phone.
    - My idea could be used to provide in-field training/study for students of other subjects, such as medicine or agriculture (the lesson payment is simply an optional function of my software - I can make eg medical training for midwives free of lesson charge etc).

    Anyway, after writing code for a few weeks, I'm fairly close to my beta tests

    I'm multitasking, writing the code for another app which should also prove popular, but that topic is still under wraps.

    My third multitask project will not make me 1 baht. It is a 'non-profit' app that can be used in the children's classroom to help the teacher monitor and review the students' work and progress, and to provide the parents with access to view and monitor from their mobile phone how their child is progressing (or not), and to provide feedback to the teacher.

    So life is going OK here

  8. #8
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    All sounds very good mate.
    Well done and good luck for the future.

  9. #9
    I am in Jail

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    Good for you Simon it sounds like your on to something there. I hope it pans out for you.

    Now I'll be the first to admit I'm no teacher but this style " Most people think that Montessori is all about letting the child learn without someone actually 'teaching' them." reminds me of something called natural and logical consequences. An example would be when mother tells me to put my mittens on because it's freezing outside. I do not because Im lazy and stupid and then think as my fingers become frostbitten mittens are nice to wear in the cold.

    Now if I was only smart enough to get my tongue unstuck from the frozen monkey bars without tearing off my taste buds. Haha.

    Good luck with it...

    fish

  10. #10
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    Well done and good luck! Teaching is a v respectable profession.

  11. #11
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    @Fishlocker

    I studied to understand the Montessori methodology, but that doesn't mean that I agree with all of it.

    Montessori involves teaching the very basic child skills (dressing yourself etc), which does need a 'teacher' in the first instance to show the child how to do these tasks.

    Then as the child gets a little older, they are presented with some equipment or apparatus in an isolated environment (so they don't get distracted), and it's up to them to explore and understand that apparatus, what it can do, what its limits are etc etc.

    Since Maria Montessori was around in the 19th century, the types of apparatus that the child explores could do with updating, to reflect the modern world that we live in.

    MM let each child explore in isolation, but that really isn't practical for a class of 20 lively KG kids. Better to explore as a group of kids.

    So, IMHO (which maybe isn't worth much), I think Montessori should be used to teach the very basic skills, and then the concept of 'learning through exploring' should be applied with modern apparatus and in small groups in the classroom.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    MM let each child explore in isolation, but that really isn't practical for a class of 20 lively KG kids. Better to explore as a group of kids
    Work stations and rotations work quite well once the routine is established.

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