Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I Like You Just The Way You Are
You may be wondering what a photo of my Grandma and me, the children walking on the line and two of the children baking have in common. It's a bit convoluted, but stay with me. When my 96 year old Grandmother and I were together over the holidays, she was asking me what sets Montessori education apart. I was telling her about the independent choice, the individualized pace of learning, the social respect, and so on. She suddenly had tears in her eyes and I asked her what was wrong. She said, "I wish when I was growing up I would have had the opportunity to go to that kind of school. I felt like I was never good enough--that the things I was good at didn't matter in school." That my Grandma, an extremely accomplished and intelligent woman, had such bad memories of elementary school that they could still bring tears to her eyes, floored me. Then I thought of all the joy in my day, and in the days of the children. They bake, walk on the line, do multiplication, read, sing, and live, all with joy in their hearts. I am reminded of the very special gift Montessori education gives children--the opportunity to succeed as themselves.