- American Montessori Society (AMS)
- North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA)
- Montessori Teachers’ Institute for Professional Studies (MTIPS)
Local Montessori Schools are looking for substitutes. All types of substitutes are needed; Montessori teachers, assistants, extended care staff, late care staff, holiday care staff, etc. State clearances are required. Great opportunity for retired Montessori teachers, assistants, etc. If interested, please contact Diane Force at .
Review of Dr. Sally Shaywitz’s book
“Overcoming Dyslexia” by Mary Furey
One of the most fascinating and rewarding opportunities a Montessori teacher can have, involves guiding a child toward reading. For some students, the journey to becoming an accomplished reader is a natural and smooth process. The visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile experiences offered in the Montessori language curriculum scaffold the child’s trajectory from writing to reading easily. For some students, however, mastering text is a frustrating task that is not easily accomplished.
A classic resource for parents, teachers, students and anyone interested in the reading process is Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz. Dr. Shaywitz is a neuroscientist, a professor of pediatrics at Yale University and codirector of the Yale Center for the Study of Language and Attention. The main topic of her work is helping students at any age overcome a reading disability known as dyslexia which she defines as “unexpected difficulties in phonology and reading in relation to the person’s other cognitive and academic abilities.” (p. 335)
Dr. Shaywitz offers great insight into how to diagnose students who have challenges with text and effective responses to their specific needs. Many of her suggestions about explicit instruction and word mastery echo many of the lessons in the Montessori language curriculum regarding phonics, sight words and rules about “special sounds.” Dr. Shaywitz gives further guidelines in how to tailor a reading program to a child’s specific needs, including small group instruction and monitoring attention and concentration issues. Montessorians are trained to observe their students so they can effectively help them progress. Dr. Shaywitz suggests that explicit reading instruction should occur no less than four or five times a week and continue as long as necessary, often over a period of years.
One of the most interesting chapters of the book involves “Protecting and Nourishing Your Child’s Soul.” Dr. Shaywitz stresses how important it is to encourage a child to understand that dyslexia is a reading issue that can be overcome and this issue does not have anything to do with a student’s intelligence or overall value as a person. This chapter particularly speaks to Montessorians who understand that the core of all excellent education is respect and love for the child.
I recommend Dr. Shaywitz’ Overcoming Dyslexia to all those interested in helping students with reading difficulties triumph over their challenges.