The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.

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I went shopping today. My Sunday stroll; an excuse to buy (and drink) coffee and chat to marketeers in a slightly mood-altered fashion. I was relaxed and contemplative. I was swimming with the tide, rather than against it and damn, I love that. So, apart from the weekly reminder that “I could do this everyday, if I chose to” I nearly knocked a young boy over with my vege bag. I stopped. I looked at him and I said, “excuse me sweetheart”.

I mean it. Excuse me. Sweetheart. Excuse my disregard for your presence you sweetheart, you wondrous being. Child of God, even.

I was taght in my Montessori training that (amazzzzzingly) the way I am around a child teaches him how to be. I drank up this lesson and around that time, I realised that I was meant to be here for the child and I vowed to do so.

Sometimes I fall short – I get cranky in class, I direct them with my hands (NO!) or pat them on the head like a dog. But, usually I am conscious of the density of my actions toward their absorbent minds.

In short:

Children learn how to behave from adults. They are in awe. We are their gods. No wonder some educators advocate vehemently the importance of early years education. Children learn how to talk from adults. If I talk about someone behind their back in front of a child, guess what they think is the norm. If I talk down to another, they will indefinitely do the same. If I cringe when I hear someones voice, smirk when someone is hurt, whinge about life, and push past them at the markets. These are my lessons to them. Each day, all day, when a child is near me. I give them a world with my own shortcomings.

So, I wear nice clothes. I smile. I ask “how are you today?” I convince them that “it is so lovely to see you”, and I kneel to their level, rather than shout across the room. Small things? BIG things. As she so passionately declares, “The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.” Maria Montessori.

P.S. I have developed a website and a business plan for something…beautiful. Well, this is how it feels. It is a seed following the curves of my own roots. It buds and hides, and sprouts again, with the flow of my life. And like my life, it is never as it seemed in the beginning. More is always revealed. Here she is myoasismontessori.com.au. Please visit!

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What surrounds Your child?

NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog: Studying Artists and their Works in the Montessori Classroom.

Here is a lovely post about cultivating art appreciation in the Children’s home environment. I can speak for myself when I say, the things which I remember with most reverence and awe are the things which taught me to see, hear and feel.

The paintings in my parents house, remain embedded in my consciousness, perhaps more deeply then their own. The sounds from Dad’s records and the poems he read us from the Oxford Book of Children’s poetry, stay with me, as some majestic, other-worldly gift that cannot be expressed but with a loving appreciation; one that, if we are lucky enough to have  close siblings,  we share it.

What surrounds your child? It is difficult to prevent clutter, but knowing that order and beauty are the balms to our children’s calm, it becomes the Montessori teachers ‘obsession’ to keep things clean and in their rightful place. And, it becomes their responsibility to bring beauty to the child’s world.

Enjoy this task. Know that what surrounds your little one’s, remains with them. This is a truly divine gift.

With love!

Montessori Mum, vs Montessori Teacher (on giving attention)

Montessori Mum, vs Montessori Teacher (on giving attention)

Dear Journeyers,

I wanted to briefly share this wonderful post which outlines one Mother’s challenge as she straddles the two, sometimes very different, dynamics of Montessori Mum and Montessori teacher. I celebrate the humble exploration and admission to being human – something I am sure many teachers and Mums feel unnecessarily guilty about. I know I do!

Being the Spiritually Prepared Adult

There are two aspects of preparation that an adult must undergo to become a Montessori guide. The first preparation is spiritual, through which the adult experiences a transformation of sorts. He or she learns about the developmental phases of the child, she is awakened to the mastery of that child and told, usually by her Montessori trainer, what she can do to help the child own his highest capability.  She is asked to become humble, optimistic, and prepared to serve the spirit of the child while letting go of pride, ego, and judgement. She is shown how it is done. That is the magic mixture of a good trainer, and an open mind and willing heart.

The second preparation is practical, through which the adult acquires, among other things, knowledge of the Montessori Materials, the ability to manage and maintain the classroom environment, and an overall presence of grace, courtesy, and patience.

This is no quick task, but it is simple. Willingness could not be underestimated here and let’s face it, any desire for power and prestige must be put aside. This is about being the child’s servant, in the truest sense. I am not his maid, but I serve his spirit, and in doing so, I serve my own.

The Beginning

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‘The Spiritual Preparation of the Adult’, is an expression coined by the paediatrician and pedagogical scientist Maria Montessori (The Absorbent Mind, 1967). It concerns the adult who works and lives beside the masterful ‘child’. In particular, it refers to those like me, who are blessed to work in a Casa de Bambini or, rather, Montessori Children’s House.

My Passion (The fire starter)

My passion is my work. I am an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) trained Teacher (for 3-6 years). I believe that the child is our key to an enlightened humanity. How so? What we pass on to the child about loving them self and each other will be with them indefinitely, as it is with us! Moreover, I believe that it is within the child’s psyche to be the change humanity seeks. Let’s let them be that change!

My Vision (The wind behind the flame)

All ideas must have a vision. Without one, passion burns low. It becomes a languid ache for something not yet formed; a hunger so dull it moves intangibly from one person to another over a bar stool, or a murmur in the night. My vision is certainly born of that low burning flame and thankfully so; but it is the magic, the wind, which turns imagination into form.

So what is this vision?

It is to encourage and nurture the healthy development of the human psyche, in the absorbent, embryonic years between 0-6. That is, I want to understand the true nature of the absorbent child and protect them from the hate and prejudice within my own, and other psyches. In doing so, I can offer the child opportunities to adapt to the highest vibration of love and empower them to live from their intuition, be self-assured, and trust their own magnificent creation.

One way to contain a vision like this, erupting from passion and blowing in the wind, is to develop a vision statement. Something to guide and articulate what I am trying to build. And to remind me what it is I am trying to build! A statement contains and informs my actions. Here it is!

My Vision Statement (The container)

 

To be the transformed adult, spiritually preparing myself to summon and cherish the true nature of the child. To maintain faith that the child will reveal herself, recognising her miraculous human potential and the new world she brings.

So, this is the beginning! I do hope you can join me in the formation of this vision. I hope I can grow with you, as the spiritually transforming adult. There is so much to be done! Until next week,

Be well

 

 

Next week,

  • Being the Spiritually Prepared Adult

Cuevas, E. (2011). Montessori Australia Foundation (3), 1-5.

Montessori, M. (1967). The Absorbent Mind (Owl Books ed.). New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Montessori, M. (1996). The Secret Of Childhood. Hydebad: Orient Longman.