Montessorians use observation as the primary tool of assessment for individual children, the environment, the group as a whole and even themselves, so expect to see teachers who seem to be doing more watching than teaching.
Direct instruction is just a piece of the Montessori child’s learning experience. Notice if the children are freely moving around the space. Sometimes this looks like rolling on the floor or even messing around with some of their work pieces; we know that from that freedom of movement and work choice comes deep concentration and spontaneous repetition.
Notice if the children are engaging in peer learning. Remember children are designed to learn better from each other than from adults and that learning is a naturally joyful experience. This might sound too giggly or bossy for our adult ears.
NOTE: In-person observations may be on hold until it is deemed safe in regards to COVID-19 safety restrictions.