Misconception: Montessori Teachers Do Not Teach
It is true that the role of the teacher in Montessori classroom is not the same as in other forms of education. But this does not mean that we dismiss the active role of the teacher or the value of expert knowledge. For Montessorians the role of the teacher is that of an expert observer and guide.
In our classrooms the teacher carefully prepares the environment by providing stimulating objects and by removing obstacles to learning. Typically a teacher will give a lesson to an individual child or to a small group, and then step back to allow the child to pursue the work independently, constructing their knowledge actively, rather than just mechanically memorizing knowledge from the teacher or the textbook.
While each child is working independently, the teacher continues to observe the them in order to help overcome any difficulties that may arise and to redirect the child's interest whenever necessary. In this way Montessori teachers transform the student from a passive recipient of information to an active participant in the learning process, teaching them not just what to learn, but how to learn.