Long time, no see…
It’s been a while since I last wrote about the amazing things that happen in our Montessori environment. Rest assured that it is not for lack of inspiration. Since last we talked we have had our Annual Science Fair, an auction, a nearly-complete admissions season, and many other events. I offer you an extended blog post and a declaration of intent to not let it go so long next time.
1. American Montessori Society Conference
Every other year all of the CRMS teacher attend the AMS conference. It is a great experience, professionally inspiring and aligning. This year it was in Dallas, requiring the teachers to leave at 11 a.m. on Thursday, handing over their classrooms to the more-than-capable assistants. Nevertheless, it’s hard to leave when there is so much to do. We went to the airport, only complaining a little about what we left undone, got checked in, went through security, found the gate, and sat for an hour because the flight was delayed. The flight itself was uneventful, but by the time we discovered the time change, retrieved our luggage, and found the shuttle, we were a little tuckered out. I talked to the shuttle guy and turned around to let the teachers know we would need to wait another 10 minutes, expecting exasperation. But they were all completely wrapped up in a spectacular lighting show being put on for us by a ginormous thunder cloud (video will be posted as soon as I figure out how). Leave it to Montessori teachers to lose themselves in lesson taught by nature. I knew they would love the conference.
2. Teaching Day for Kindergarteners
One of EC classrooms had a morning recently where the oldest students practiced being teachers. Before giving up the post, the teacher talked to them about observing the classroom, redirecting the students, inviting friends to lessons, etc. I was invited in as they all got to work. I found six students all wondering around the classroom, hands behind their back, very serious about their task. I asked, “Did you tell them to walk around with their hands behind their backs?” The teacher responded, “Uh, no. Apparently that’s what I do.” Modeling is such a integral part of Montessori. As teachers we are always modeling in everything we do. And we never know when we are teaching a lesson that will stick with a child. We hope it’s when we are intentional, but all we do has the potential to stick with a child. It’s a big responsibility to always be mindful of what we are teaching. Huge. And it’s also important to step back and let our students tell us what they are learning. We might find we need to change – us or the environment – to guide the students back to the lessons we intend. Or we might find that we are teaching lessons beyond our expectations. How cool is that?
3. Lower Elementary Tea Party
Each year our Lower Elementary hosts a Tea Party. Lessons to prepare include cooking, etiquette, grace & courtesy, practical life, etc. And This morning I was presented with the following article which summed it up nicely, so I told the student I would publish it here (along with a photo of the menu):
Tea for Fun
by Lucy B., Lower Elementary Student
Lower Elementary had a splendid tea party hosting Upper Elementary. Many hosts served tea to the Upper Elementary students. There were even gluten free cookies! Al of the Upper Elementary were surprised by the actions and words of the Lower Elementary. Lots of kids sent in tea cups for the party. The party went very well and there were no problems.
Have fun on spring break!