In education today, there is a common understanding that the best environments promote learning among everyone in the school. We are all learners and we all benefit from being with each other. Wisdom comes in all shapes, sizes and ages. In a Montessori classroom, you can be sure that is true.
Montessori classrooms typically have a lead teacher or guide and an assistant teacher. Both are responsible for keeping things humming along. They differ in their responsibilities, but each has the training and knowledge to help the children learn. Montessori classrooms have other teachers as well – the students. In Montessori multi-age classrooms, children learn from other students. The student helping another is learning to do more than help; he or she is learning more deeply. Teaching strengthens knowledge of the teacher, whether the teacher is a child or adult. Asking students to help others who are younger or less experienced is a surefire way to benefit both students.
We often hear that schools are filled with learners, and lifelong learning is certainly recognized as a core value in many schools. Empowering students to share their knowledge and allowing them to lead the way is the best way to promote a dynamic learning environment.