Remembering the moments

“What matters is not physics, or botany, or the works of the hand, but the will and the components of the human spirit which construct themselves through work.” –Maria Montessori

all smiles

We had our annual potluck staff lunch today in the midst of calendar meetings and the clearing out of classrooms. As we always do, we talked about moments, reflecting together on the year just ended. We all reminded each other of events, laughs, and times when things just seemed to work, when the child had that “aha!” moment.

I remember this phenomenon from last year, but this year it seemed even more pronounced; the teachers speak respectfully and compassionately about the children, whether or not the children are present, and so when the conversation turned to children, there were many heads nodding and smiles forming. The stories were not warnings to the next teacher about the “problem child” on his way up, the difficult ADHD child, or the one who is slower than the rest. Nor do they focus on the award-winning child who made them look good as teachers. The stories were all about delight, and the children mentioned were not the ones you’d necessarily expect.

The stories they tell at this lunch are almost never about the superstar, the child who excels in all areas and never presents a bit of trouble. The stories they tell are almost always about the child who struggles and triumphs in his or her own way. The children they nod about and smile about are the ones who are usually not so well understood in the culture at large, are a bit eccentric, perhaps a little quirky, off kilter. They are the delight of the Montessorian, because so often these children bring out the very best in us all, they help us create community,  they show us what is truly important in life, and their struggles–to focus or to remember not to bother another child or to work until the job is done or to talk with a quieter voice or to invite another to the peace corner or to ask someone for help rather than get frustrated–all these struggles reflect who we all are, together: a community of persons who desire to live peacefully together, to learn from each other, to grow,  and to make a difference.

The children these teachers remember at this lunch are often the ones who might be considered “different” in another school environment, but who are well loved here. They are the ones who remind us of the transformational power of the classroom environment, not only for the children, but for us.

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Explore posts in the same categories: elementary education, Montessori, Montessori Method

3 Comments on “Remembering the moments”

  1. shannon Says:

    ❤ I love this school ❤

  2. dwdriscoll Says:

    Shannon, you know how great these teachers are…I am continually amazed and always grateful.

  3. Lynn Haynes Says:

    My 2 daughters attend a Montessori school in northwest Indiana. A friend of mine has a sister who works at your school and referred me to your website. Our “Montessori” school seems nothing like yours. You are very blessed to have sucha wonderful school. So many of the concepts your website addresses are


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