Saturday, February 23, 2008

Going easy on myself, it's just what the doctor ordered.

I came across this picture of Dr. Montessori and thought I would share it with all of you. In previous posts I've told about the history of her life's work; what's recorded and told and retold by Montessorians the world over. But today I'm thinking about the woman. The mother, the doctor, the teacher of teachers, the celebrity, the feminist, what was she really like? It's allot to think about.
I imagine her as a force, as bright as the sun, as strong as a mountain. Yet, she was someone who would hold your hand when you were unsure and tell you to listen to your intuition.
I wish I could have known her personally. I would have loved to have heard her speak. She was brave and honest and true. We are so blessed she graced this earth and shared with us her brilliant perspective.
The Montessori Teacher:
Imagine sitting cradled within the branches of a tall and magical tree. It is the Montessori classroom. How would you feel looking all about you, new possibilities and opportunities awaiting you on every branch you reach for? Would you want to take the leap? I imagine only if you were sure you would not fall. The supportive branches and strength of the Montessori tree enable you to feel independent and sure of your footing. But knowing your teacher is always there to help you to reach that next branch is a reassuring fact.
You are not alone on this journey; you are being guided and encouraged by a loving adult who understands what it is like to climb this tree. All the branches are familiar to her and each leaf she has placed there with careful consideration for every child to admire and enjoy. Montessori herself planted the seed of this tall and miraculous tree and it is the teachers who she trained who tend to it now.
Montessori said, "Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future."

I remember these words and her perspective each time I enter the Montessori classroom. But bringing Montessori home is my work these days. And I know that lately I have often felt challenged by financial restraints to prepare my home to meet the needs of my growing, ever changing boys. I am resolving today to give myself a break. Yes, the prepared environment is an important element to the success of the Montessori method but it is so much more about the process than the materials. Reminding myself of this is helpful. By comparison when I visit the classroom I see beautiful materials and child sized everything, I admire and long to bring home some of the items. Let's call this "nesting". My home environment is cluttered and small, there are five of us and not much room. Some days it feels like a bush rather than a tree, but oh well, it's our bush and we are all learning in it just the same.
Bread crumbs or golden beads the learning was the same. Maria observed children in many different environments and always found this to be true: a child who feels loved and comfortable will be successful at their work.


Shannon said...

I have always loved Montessori, so I am so happy to have found your blog. You really seem to have such a studied and intuitive sense of what MM was all about.

I also would love to hear more about the book you have created. Is there an older post about it?

Montessori Mama said...

Thank You Shannon, I have written a series of stories about a Mouse named Maria who lives in a children's house. I am sending her stories to publishers now in hopes she will one day be published. I've received positive feedback but no takers yet.
In previous posts I have shared art work from the book. I am considering self publishing but I'm not sure about how to get started. I'll let you know when something happens. Please send me good energy in the mean time. Thanks!

village mama said...

Lovely insight, just dear, honest, wise and puts a huge smile on my face. Some days it feels like all I do is mold play doh, I sometimes judge this repetitive action, but with your insight I'm going back to it refreshed. Thank you.

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