Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Montessori by any other name?

For the past two days, I was on an assignment in a Montessori centre, located in the Western Sydney surburbs. I was actually rather excited and was looking forward to seeing what is called "normalized" children in a Montessori centre.

During my time there, I observed that though the children in the preschool group do engage and work with the Montessori materials and equipment each time I passed through the room...but this was more of name than in practice.

The centre is staffed by staff holding a Cert III, and some Diploma. trained as well as some trainee staff. The majority of the staff is of Lebanese background, with some others Greek.

The children however come a lot from Vietnamese, Lebanese as well as other Arabic backgrounds. The centre meets the Department of Community Service (DOCS) requirements, and like most centres, employ a daily diary for daily programming, besides the weekly program which is updated by a permanent staff.

However, due to certain circumstances, the centre justifies the employment of a management strategy that employs more of the common, than on what is supposedly to be Montessori.

Hence, if parents were aspiring of wanting to look for a centre that truly employs the Montessori Method, I believe that they should thoroughly do their homework; as some may be said to be Montessori by name, and less in practice as most are.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

December: Childcare casual jobs on the slow.

One of my agents, Agent E, had forewarned us casuals that summer will be a slow season for casual work.

This is attested to the reasons that there will be less staff who will ill or possibly apply for leave during this time. Another for the current situation is the financial recession.

I know this for sure as Agent E had always texted me to inform of work for weeks before hand. However, I hadn't received much in the last two weeks. So I guess I should watch my spending in the next three months (although I'm not doing a very good job at that!)

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