Why Montessori?

This.  This is why.

 congress-50
[“She is the energy of the sun. Let her face shine with the same radiant joy.”]

This little, perfect, incredible soul has the potential to do huge, wonderful, amazing things.

The fate of the world depends on how we educate the future.

I feel incredibly lucky to have been introduced to Montessori by my friend (and my children’s teacher) Megan. Through her, I’ve been shown a world where children aren’t just taught – they’re guided.

I am passionate about things. Sometimes, the passion fades a bit (can we go back to my essential oils phase?), but when I believe in something real, and believe in it with my whole heart, I want so badly for others to experience it, too. I have become passionate about Montessori.

It’s more than just a different type of school. It’s so much more than that, and I really only completely understood this after the 2+ days I spent at the International Montessori Congress in Portland. Here I was able to listen to people who spoke about their passion. Judith Snow spoke of inclusion and that “with inclusion comes peace.” She asked us to think about ability vs. capacity. She told stories about people with different abilities who changed lives — not because of their abilities, but because of their capacity.

Lynne Lawrence explained that “learning is something personal…not dependent on the knowing adult.”

I love that.

I think that too often in ‘traditional’ schools, teachers see it as their job to teach the child. That they are the ones who create readers, mathematicians, scientists. They do everything they can so that their students score well on tests, and those results are then direct reflections on them as teachers…and it’s kind of appalling that then sometimes those teachers are rewarded for their students doing well — as if it’s all because of them.

Not once during this conference did I hear talk of improving test scores. I didn’t hear talk about how you should teach your students. What I heard was talk of peace. I heard over and over again the importance of doing good in the world. These Montessorians know what’s up. They respect children as humans. They know children are capable of huge things…they don’t just think it. They know that they aren’t the ones creating these big things, the child is.  And that’s important.  They believe in their work and they know that by guiding children through their own learning process, they are helping to shape a world of good. Where cooperation, love, peace, and inclusion are things that just happen.

When Judith snow was talking about students she knew with severe disabilities, it made me think of Jamie and Alice’s class this past year. A child in their class is almost completely blind. The compassion and friendship that his friends in his class show him is amazing. They think absolutely NOTHING of taking his hand and leading him to a safe place in the classroom. It’s natural to them. When he accidentally bumps into someone, there isn’t angry talk — they scoot over or move so he can get by. Usually with no words being exchanged besides an, “I’m sorry,” from the child. And if I think about it too much, I might cry because I’m so thankful. I’m so thankful that my children will grow up not having to learn how to treat people who are different — they’ll see it as normal. And because of all of this, they will be more peaceful. Judith pointed out that when you see that being different is okay and everyone benefits from diversity, there is no need to fight.

Montessori teaches peace.

It teaches responsibility for oneself and the environment.

It teaches love and respect.

It helps to create artists and musicians and scientists and mathematicians. Writers and teachers and builders and dreamers.

That is why Montessori.

“The unknown energy that can help humanity is that which lies hidden in the child.”

 -Maria Montessori

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2 thoughts on “Why Montessori?

  1. childrenshouse

    thank you so much for your insight, support and words. I am so grateful you were at the congress, and Olive too, of course.

    Reply

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