We have the awesome responsibility of giving our children experiences that help them to grow, learn and develop. We talk with our children to help them develop language and vocabulary, we read to our children to help them love books and create an awareness of print, we take walks with our children to show them the beauty in nature. All of these things are very direct ways of teaching and guiding our children. But there is another, sometimes larger way that we are teaching our children and that is through our actions. Throughout the year, we demonstrate peace to help our children understand love of each other, respect for themselves as well as others and treating others with compassion. This week, in particular, we are really focusing on Peace in anticipation of our annual Peace Day event on Friday.
“The most powerful way to change the world is to live our lives in front of our children the way we would like the world to be.” Graham R. White
Dr. Montessori saw hope for peace in the education of children. That foundation is laid in Montessori schools, as children become independent, self-actualized and compassionate community members. In our classrooms, compassion for others is one of our core values that we impart on a daily basis.
It shows up as students of many cultures and faiths come together in mutual support and respect. We learn and celebrate these cultures.
It shows up in the resolution of conflicts when the children hurt each other with words or actions. We guide the children to respectful conversations, healing the wounds and restoring the relationship. It shows up in the compassion that is shown to friends when they are sad or upset
.It shows up as the children engage each other in a supportive learning environment, where mistakes are made, lessons are learned, and we treat each other with respect and support.
It also shows up in the way in which we model compassion to the children as well as each other.
“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education,” Montessori wrote in conversations with Gandhi years ago. Collectively, their work made a difference in their world. So too will ours.