We've started our 5th year at Community Montessori School. I so wish I had the time to blog everyday-everyday something happens in the classroom that I would love to reflect and write about. Today something happened that really pushed me to take the time. If you are new to Montessori or you have been a Montessori parent for some time, you have undoubtedly heard that we're more concerned with a child's process. As adults, we are always thinking of the end game-the end product-the end task list. But, children are in the moment-taking their time and developing every step of the way. Sometimes, it's difficult as parents and teachers to wait, be patient and allow children the time and space needed to work through things and discover themselves. Today's happening in the classroom illustrates a beautiful process and discovery made by one little boy.
If I notice a child hasn't grabbed their tote bag to bring inside school, I usually say something like 'Would you like to bring your tote bag today?' This allows the child to respond and make a decision whether or not to bring it. It's very different than 'grab your tote bag' or even just grabbing it for them and handing it to them. Most of the time (99.9% of the time), children say 'yes' and grab it. Today, a little boy turned and looked at his tote bag in his car, then turned around and said he didn't want to bring it in b/c it would get lost. I then told him that I noticed he had some work on his clip that he could take home, if that information would change his mind-it didn't. Well, during work time this little boy colored 5 airplane pictures (we're studying transportation). He finished his work, put the work away and proceeded to carry around the pictures. I was enjoying watching him to see what he would do. He solicited a friend to help him try and put all his work on his small clip attached to his coat hook which is where we put work that needed to stay overnight to dry. What a clever boy! He saw work clipped there, so he thought he could put his work there he had just finished. His friend couldn't get his work on the clip. This friend happened to ride to school with him today so he knew he didn't want to bring his tote bag. The friend said to the little boy a couple of times, 'This is why you need to bring your tote bag'. The little boy then replied each time, 'But, it will get lost at the park'. The little boy proceeded working and thinking very hard about what to do. He was in the coat room organizing his papers and trying to get his work on the hook. He then walked around the room for awhile and even chose a work with his hands full. Then, he walked up to a teacher and said, 'My friend was right-I need to bring my tote bag!' and he said it with a chuckle and smile like he had just made a big discovery! It was so cute and funny. There were many times a teacher could have moved in, made a decision for this little guy or even just told him what he could do. But, allowing him to walk through his own thought process without being interrupted was a gift. This little boy is 3 years old and made such a wonderful discovery. The interesting part was too that his friend was telling him he needed to bring his tote bag, but he he kept saying, 'no, it will get lost at the park', but in the end, realizing he had nothing to do with his work, he realized, yes, I need to bring a tote bag. My guess is that this little boy will always bring his tote bag to school! But, more than bringing his tote bag, he sees purpose is having it at school.
Community Montessori School