Today a very important person came to my school. For several summers, I have been able to spend time with Marian who was one of my teachers when I received my Montessori training. She has become a friend, a mentor and someone I greatly respect and turn to for advice, guidance and support. She is in her 70's and so very passionate about Montessori. In fact, she was trained by women who were trained by Maria herself. She owned a school for many, many years and provided a wonderful, respectful, loving environment for many children living in the Forest Park area. I believe it's critical for Montessorians to stay in touch with those who have (and continue to go) gone before us. It's important to hear their stories and allow them to share their wisdom and knowledge with us. It's important to constantly be reminded why we do what we do-what we value and why we believe so strongly in the ability and beauty of children. Children have a lot to teach us if we allow ourselves to be humbled in their presence and learn by observing, rather than moving in, directing, controlling, fixing. Instead, we build relationships with children and understand and respect where they are developmentally, socially, academically etc. We believe that their hearts, minds, and spirit guide their choices and providing them with a prepared environment with beautiful materials and allowing them to build their independence, magic happens in the hearts of children and adults alike who are blessed to be a part of the unfolding of a child. Thank you Marian for sharing your time and passion with us today. I am forever grateful that I met you and thank you for the impact you have had on me personally and Community Montessori School.