Adult - Spiritual Preparation 1

       Dr. Montessori writes in The Secret of Childhood that in order to work well with each other, the first step is the modification of the adult, with two required components: the prepared environment as conducive to life and a shift in the adult’s attitude, toward life, toward children, toward the self. The true challenge is in helping the adult lose their false impressions of themselves and of the child, allowing only true impressions to shine forth.

             “A teacher, therefore, who would think that he could prepare himself for his mission through study alone, would be mistaken. The first thing required of a teacher is that he be rightly disposed for his task…. It is not sufficient to have a merely theoretical knowledge of education.”[1]

We have to find our own starting point for improvement; that we are so concerned with correcting the children’s faults that we forget to look to ourselves and to our own responsibility. It is erroneous to think that we can study the child on an intellectual level only. Intellectual preparation is also necessary, with the various techniques we use, but spiritual preparation must precede the intellectual level. Joosten has added that it is a question of achieving a revolution within ourselves.

            The results of our internal preparation aid us in serving the child. We need to reevaluate the concept of normality, instruction, etc. Children have a lot to offer; some of their qualities include spontaneity, curiosity, ever-forgiveness, love from the heart – all qualities we should strive to retain.

[1] The Secret of Childhood. Chapter 22: The Spiritual Preparation of the Teacher.


  1. This is so key. They are drumming this into us for my CGS training. So much depends on us and our attitude and spirituality, and...Everything!

    There's a section in Child in the Church that discusses it, and Montessori thought she might start a religious group. The prayer there is amazing.

  2. I love the book "The Child in the Church" - I think the book should be required reading for all Montessori teachers and parents, let alone the catechists! Just to really get into the thought processes behind fully preparing oneself to work with the children.

    Today, at my co-op, I had the fortunate blessing of having no morning children come (a last-minute occurrence). It was really for the best because I wasn't really "ready" - by noon, I was in better place and our afternoon was wonderful!

    I've also been in classrooms and atriums where the adult just wasn't ready (physically, spiritually, practically, or another way) - and it affects the children. But in those times we have to be with the children when we're not prepared? Just be honest with the children, let them know the expectations for the day and they will accommodate :) But even this situation requires a preparation ahead of time that allows the adult to be open and honest.