Addressing Avoidance In The Montessori Classroom

Montessori learning revolves around giving children the freedom to choose what they want to do. This naturally raises questions about task avoidance from most parents. Since this is a legitimate concern, Montessori schools have established guidelines on how to deal with such behavior if seen in class.

Montessori schools, like Centerra Ranch, based in Katy, Texas, follow specific guidelines for children’s tendency to perform task avoidance. In this article, we’ve put together some basic rules followed by Montessori schools when faced with task avoidance from young children.

Observe Then Address The Problem

Montessori teachers are trained to address problems that arise with a child through an outwards lens. They are taught to look at the child’s surroundings and see if something is triggering their behavior.

This technique is also used to observe when a child is exhibiting task avoidance. Montessori teachers are instructed to look at the child from a distance and gauge why they might be acting out or avoiding working. Often there’s a straightforward answer to their behavior: they’re under-stimulated by the task, the work’s too challenging to begin with, or the child is emotional and mentally distracted. 

Let Them Choose

Children are bound to be more interested in the work that they choose for themselves. Setting up a routine or forcing them to follow rigorous instructions is a surefire way of discouraging the child from doing any work.

Montessori teachers are trained to identify what the child is avoiding and think of alternative ways to make it enjoyable. For example, during a coloring exercise, they can ask children to color into characters/animals they like, pick colors of their liking, or sit in a spot they like the most to get the task done. This gives the child a feeling of independence, putting the guide/teacher in a better position to be listened to.

Establish Accountability

Montessori schools don’t hold children accountable in the adult sense of the word. The guides are instructed to support the children if they require help completing specific tasks, but that’s all.

They help the children rethink work strategies and redirect them if they get stuck. Still, in this context, accountability essentially means to help children realize they need to complete at least some of the work they plan, and if they struggle with it, get support to meet the finish line. It is an excellent way to build their confidence and remind them that a can-do attitude is essential!

The Centerra Ranch Montessori School has been awarded the best pre-school in Katy award for two years consecutively. If you’re planning to enroll your child into a diverse, practical, and secure pre-school environment, visit their website and book a tour for their fall 2020 batch.

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