Walking the talk is especially difficult, in my opinion, for Montessori teachers. They have to be sure that what they’re doing isn’t controlling the children. It can be all too easy to interact with students in a way that fosters behavioral compliance instead of self-regulated learning.
“I’m as guilty as anyone of distorting my teaching. When talking to other teachers, I often play up the progressive elements: Student-led discussions. Creative projects. Guided discovery activities. I mumble through the minor, inconvenient fact that my pedagogy is, at its core, deeply traditional. I let my walk and my talk drift apart. Not only does this thwart other teachers in their attempts to honestly evaluate my approach, but it blocks my own self-evaluation. I can’t grow properly unless I see my own work with eyes that are sympathetic, but clear and unyielding.”