"Even when helping and serving the children, she (the teacher) must not cease to observe them, because the birth of concentration in a child is as delicate a phenomenon as the bursting of a bud into bloom." — Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
Observation is an integral and ongoing part of a Montessori teacher's work. Observing without judgement is one of the most vital teaching tools we have to "follow the child, " recognize her needs, and assist her in finding her strengths and capabilities. Observation is a critical component of lesson planning and classroom management. When the teacher observes that a student has mastered a concept or skill, she can introduce new lessons.
There's much more to the art of observing than recording the skills children have mastered. For example, we try to detect what Montessori called "sensitive periods" in the child's development, as well as heightened interest in music, art, or nature. We need to be knowledgeable about child development in order to have insight about children's behaviour, social interactions, and learning styles. The teacher who is gifted in the science of observation can help children overcome difficulties and redirect their interest when necessary.