Last week, the children in Primary 1 learned about the holiday Diwali. Several children in the class had been celebrating Diwali, and one family was kind enough to share a PowerPoint presentation about the holiday. Diwali is celebrated in October or November and signifies the last harvest of the year before the onset of winter. It is the most important Hindu holiday of the year, lasting five whole days. The stories behind Diwali vary among different parts of India, but in essence, Diwali commemorates the triumph of good over evil. Each family celebrates in different ways, but many families worship, wear new clothes and jewelry, light firecrackers and candles, eat special food, and create decorations such as lanterns and rangoli (elaborate and colorful decorations made from colored rice, flour, or flower petals). Thank you to the Junnarkar family for broadening Primary 1’s knowledge of the world!
By Ann Jordahl
We have gathered tonight in support of our children’s Montessori education. And make no mistake, no matter how old our children are, we older MSLF parents continue to be guided by Montessori principles as we nurture our young adults.
What do we mean when we claim to offer good Montessori education? Lots of schools make this claim, so how does one assess quality? MSLF offers several proofs of its excellence. First, within the Montessori teaching community, MSLF is considered a good place to work. This is only in part due to its competitive salaries, and only in part due to the beauty of the campuses and the full range of services. MSLF attracts excellent practitioners because it offers them intellectual freedom. This intellectual freedom is the freedom to do one’s best work, to collaborate with colleagues, to disagree with colleagues, to think hard about Montessori philosophy and how best to apply it, how best to communicate about it. This school offers teachers something rare: the opportunity to do real Montessori, not just to talk about it.
Second, perhaps you have heard me describe how MSLF has become a community of people who think for themselves. We come together because we share goals and values, not because we all think alike. We do agree that the surest path to excellence at all ages is to combine good training, high standards, strong work ethic, perseverance, freedom to collaborate, agreeing to disagree. MSLF provides this path to excellence for all members of its community, young and old.
Our children are why it matters so much what kind of a community MSLF is. If we agree that we aim to provide the best Montessori education we can, then we know that our true goal is to interpret and apply the most basic of Montessori principles at all times. We may applaud our results as we witness them in our incredible alumni. But in order to “produce” such wonderful results, we here must concern ourselves first and foremost with the process of getting there. That process is Montessori education.
Montessori education is really an elegantly simple and efficient process. It is basically founded on one profound principle, a message that each child sends to the adult world. It took a genius to hear this call, and since she heard it, we now can hear it and heed it, too. The child’s eternal call to us is “help me to do it myself.”