How do you answer questions about Montessori? Do you have a canned response that you give when people ask what it is that you do? I admit to having a standard explanation that I give to people when they ask me what Montessori is. I say something along the lines of, "In a nutshell, it is an alternative philosophy of education that focuses on the child as a whole, and teaches each child at his or her own pace. We also teach everything in a hands-on fashion to help the children learn concepts concretely before getting into the abstract." Some people simply nod and move on. More often, though, people start to ask more questions and I have to provide more information and examples. They are especially fascinated about peace education and the fact that I have kindergartners who are doing division in the thousands.
My passion for Montessori means that I can go on and on for hours if provoked and asked enough questions. I remember even back in college, I would have a small group of people around me asking me all kinds of questions, while we worked on depleting the keg.
I feel like parents don't ask us enough questions. Or at least they do not seem to ask the kids of questions that I would prefer to answer. I know to them, they want the fundamentals about how snack works and when we go play on the playground. I want them to ask me why it is important for a five year-old to scrub a table with a brush or to not teach letter names until the phonic sounds are mastered. So, I find myself trying to create those questions in the parents by providing them a snippet of information about something their child has done. Then I can go on from there, guiding their questions and hoping for more conversation.
What are some of the most interesting or strangest questions you have ever been asked?