Thursday, January 14, 2010
Three More Years!
It is nothing less than marvelous that our students spend three (or four) years with us. I have one student who enjoyed school, yet had a difficult time with adults and other children whom she did not know well. My first year was spent getting her to trust me. She never felt comfortable greeting me for the entire year, and only socialized with a few children. In our second year she reluctantly accepted presentations, but said "no" more often than not and perfected the "rapid walk away" when she saw me coming. She still didn't accept my morning greeting and still had difficulty socializing with more than a handful of children. This year, she not only says "good morning" to me but also shakes my hand! Yesterday, this reluctant, recalcitrant child brought a book to school and said she wanted to read it to the group during our collective. She sat in my chair, opened the book and sang the whole book to the group. The book is a spoof on "The Twelve Days of Christmas." She showed the group every page, and held their rapt attention for the entire song. Amazing. She is blossoming before my eyes. I have another student who did not leave my side the first year--literally. The second year she branched out a bit, but was extremely quiet. This year she emerged as a leader in the room and a great friend to many. At our school's monthly trip to an assisted-living facility, she sat and chatted with the elders as we painted and colored. She also read books to our elderly friends. Think of all we would miss if Montessori had not observed the importance of continuity to the stages of development. The photos are not of these specific children but rather of some nice moments in the environment and with the elders.