A philosophy of teaching that I truly believe in and follow in my practice is providing children with an inclusive education. Each day, I teach a diverse group of learners. I do as much as I can to make my students feel that they are included and accepted just as they are. Personally, as a student who always looked for acceptance and inclusion from my classmates and teachers, I truly believe it is important to take time to meet the needs of each student every day.
In my own life, I always had challenges learning Math. When discussing these challenges with my parents, they told me that I began to have difficulties in Math as early as Kindergarten. I always wondered if my teachers ever did anything to help me to overcome these challenges. From Grade 8, I have one memory that always comes back to influence the way I teach my students. The majority of my Grade 8 class was really good at finishing Minute Math very quickly. However, I would never be able to finish all the questions in time and this caused me to become very upset. Later on, I remember my Math teacher giving me a multiplication table for Minute Math time and a few more minutes to complete the worksheet. This boosted my confidence a great deal because I was able to complete all the questions, and I got a much better mark!
When I reflect on the positive effect that particular teacher had on me, I tell myself that I need to have the same positive effect on my students too. Each child is a unique and wonderful person who will succeed in anything as long as they have the right support. At RMS, the Montessori materials in my classroom allow me to ensure that my classroom is inclusive by meeting the needs of all my students. For Math, children at all levels are able to use the Montessori materials to enhance their learning from the books, whether it is to help them better understand the material or provide students with a challenge. Each student learns best with a material they really enjoy using. In the following video, one student understands addition best when using the addition board and another using the stamp game.
The images in this article are just a snapshot of how the Montessori method creates an inclusive classroom for my diverse learners using different materials that best suit their learning style. Each child, unique and wonderful just as they are, is included and accepted within the classroom and is taught in ways that will help them learn and thrive!
-Written by a RMS Kindergarten teacher