Respectful Language and Actions in a Montessori School Seminar

(Seminars may be arranged by calling 253-859-2262)


A.  Joyful Learning and Respectful Speech

 Sharlet McClurkin will paint a picture of joyful learning and respectful speech in this seminar. She will show in words, songs and actions how to rise above the challenges of the Montessori classroom and keep one’s calm and vision for the children.

This seminar will demonstrate non-conventional language and methods of the Montessori teacher while working with children in a group activity or in the open classroom.

B.  Music of Respect; Roadblocks

Mrs. McClurkin will also show adults how to present transition songs and songs of respect and self-confidence to children.  She will discuss the impact of negative words and phrases, as well as ordering and question, in the young child’s life.

C.  Listening

Adults will learn how to listen to children with empathy and how to phrase a deep concern or feeling in a positive way.  They will see ways of speaking courteously and gracefully to children.

D.  Problem-solving

Mrs. McClurkin will present problem scenarios, discuss “whose problem it is” and how to respond to the children in an authentic and human, yet respectful manner.


A.  When to intervene with a child. 

1.  How much intervention do I give to children?  What is the criterion for intervening?

2.  As a director, how much intervention do I give to children and teachers?  Do I correct them as I walk through the classroom?

3.  How much intervention do I give to interns?

B.  What is the difference between “managing” and “leading” a classroom?

1.  How can I find a balance between complete freedom for the children and my guidance of them?

2.  What is the difference between managing and leading them?

3.  What happens when I “micro-manage” all of the children?

4.  What happens when I “let them go”?

5.  What does Montessori mean that we must have the “eye of faith” toward children?


A.  Why is freedom of choice essential for children in a Montessori school?

1.  How much freedom do I give 4.5 through 5 year-olds to choose their work?

2.  What is the place of practical life for 5-year-olds?

3.   What are some Montessori ways to encourage the older children to choose 5-year-old work?  What name may I call it?  (“harder,” “challenging,” etc?)

B.  What about freedom for teachers?

1.  How much freedom do I, as the director, give to teachers and interns to select their circle themes and to set up their classroom?

2.  Should there be a certain number of lessons that children and interns give each day?

3.  What happens when the teacher makes the work so that the child is only able to do part of it?


A.  What is discipline?

1.  What kind of discipline should Montessori children have?

2.  What are the three levels of obedience, according to Montessori?

B.  The “time-out”

1.  How long should time-outs be for children?

2.  What is the purpose of a time out?

3.  What steps are included in a “time-out”?

4.  Should children be required to say, “I’m sorry.”?


A.  Children: What happens when a teacher tells a child that they are not doing hard work like another child her age?

B.  Teachers/interns: What happens if you tell an intern that she is not doing as well as another intern?


A.  Setting your purpose

1.  Should the main purpose of the Montessori classroom be academic?

2.  How can I educate parents to know the purpose?

B.  The attraction of the “old” thinking

1.  What traditional philosophies and roadblocks can creep in so that the teachers, interns and children feel stress and pressure to perform?

2.  How can I have an atmosphere of joy of learning for all teachers, interns and teachers?

C.  How to have “joyful learning” every day in the classroom