The parents in our program are all welcome to volunteer in the classroom at any time. We are getting ready to welcome our first volunteer during class time, and I wanted to be sure that I had a way of sharing some of the guiding principles used during our work time with parents coming in. My hope is that I and all of the adults coming in can work together in support of the same goals. Some of the ways of being in the Montessori environment are counter-intuitive to adults who are used to working in and around traditional classrooms, so I wanted to explain some of these differences, while giving a bit of the theory behind them. I hope that explaining the goals we have and how we work toward them will be more helpful than listings dos and don’ts with no clarification. We’ll see!
This is one of those articles that I could spend many more hours on, and tweak endlessly. I do think it’s longer than it needs to be, but I am so not good at consolidating things, and if I keep obsessing I will never publish, so here is my imperfect work as it is now. I’d love to hear what you would change, add, or leave out. I hope that this, as well as some other classroom-related documents I’ve put together recently will be of use to other teachers and co-op organizers. I’ll be sharing some of these as printables soon!
For the very last in my back to school series of giveaways, I’d like to share a unique and incredibly useful book for anyone interested in education for peace: AMS Living Legend Sonnie McFarland’s Honoring the Light of the Child: Activities to Nurture Peaceful Living Skills in Young Children. A little over a year ago, I wrote about McFarland’s most recent book, Montessori Parenting, but this title is even more special to me, as I have had the honor of sitting in on a workshop where she presented some of the activities included in the book, and it was so beautiful that it has stuck with me for many years since. I have seen many of the activities from McFarland’s book brought to life in the classroom as well, and given a special place on the shelf where they were loved by the children. This is truly a special book, and would benefit teachers outside the Montessori system as well as in — and parents, too.
About the Book Continue reading
Image Credit: Matthew Stevens on Flickr. Creative Commons usage.
Every year at this time, I and many others reflect on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and of all who have fought for fairness, equality, and peace. Every year for the last few years, I have quietly recommitted myself to the important work of opening the world to my daughter – and now to my son.
We inflict far too much suffering on our fellow humans, and so much of the hurt we cause to others is born from a place of fear. People naturally fear the unknown. Some respond by educating themselves to ease their fear, and others by lashing out. Ignorance breeds fear breeds hatred breeds evil and on and on it goes. But it doesn’t have to. Continue reading
I went back and forth between the title I chose for this post, and a similar one with the tagline, “One Montessorian’s Perspective. Ultimately I went with what you see above, but I want to emphasize that this is my view and is not necessarily shared by all Montessorians. I came to the conclusions I did through my training and my work with Montessori children, but others will have come to different conclusions through similar paths. That’s okay. This is not the Montessori view, but it is my Montessori-based view. Anyway, moving on…
Why We Want our Children to Share
As parents, we all want our children to grow up to be fulfilled, active members of society in whatever way suits them best. None of us want to see our children struggle to make friends, and the pain of seeing our own child hurt others is second only to the pain of seeing them get hurt. It’s terrible. Continue reading
Dr. Montessori with a child, from the International Montessori Index at montessori.edu.
Many will write today about the inspirational figure that is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I could add my voice to that chorus again, but this year I’d like to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy by writing about another peacemaker, another believer in the idea that only love can drive out hate: Dr. Maria Montessori.
Many are familiar with Dr. Montessori as a brilliant figure in education who developed a method for teaching children that is still widely used and respected today. Her methods have truly stood the test of time, and in recent years have been shown to align even with the most current research into child development , hence the method’s continued popularity. Continue reading