The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind…. Dear God, I hope I don’t mess this up.
Admittedly, it is terrifying to be part of the village that it takes to raise a child.
Each child is entrusted to me by a very brave parent. While I am biased and believe I am a FANTASTIC teacher, it’s still humbling that parents gift me with their more sacred and precious treasure. Moms- you have felt your child grow and kick in your belly. You have labored to bring life forth and nurtured that life until you’re exhausted. Dads- have changed diapers at 3:00 am just hoping not to get peed on. You have carefully cut up grapes into small pieces or turned the car around to retrieve a long forgotten lovey.
Parents, you have worked so hard and loved so hard. And then, you give your child to me for eight hours a day. That has got to be so scary!
Your trust in me only wants me to do more. To learn more. To plan more. To give more. To love more.
I ask myself 1,000 times a day: Am I doing the right thing? Was the work too challenging… to easy? Should I introduce an extension… should I present the lesson again? Should I offer to help put their shoes on… should I observe them manipulate their shoes independently?
And all of this can happen before its even lunchtime! Each work on the shelf, each change in a routine, every word that is spoken to them during conflict is analyzed in my brain until I am certain it is the right thing to do. (Which is not to say that I’m not human and won’t let a laugh slip in when a child flings their body to the floor in utter outrage that I won’t let them throw a work across the room… tantrums will always be funny to me.) I care. I care about how the children view their classroom, or how they view me. I care that they are loved and provided for. I do not take for granted the trust you have given me.
All of this leads to the even more important task of: How can I do more?
Maria Montessori tells me that, “The child is both the hope and a promise for mankind,” which is not a light subject. These children that I greet every morning will someday be in charge of decisions that affect themselves, their families, the country, and the world. What I teach them now is critical to these future decisions. I HOPE I DON’T MESS IT UP!
I believe this is why teaching empathy, acceptance, kindness, and to have a servants heart is highly important.
Teaching empathy gives children the ability to identify with others and to give grace when working with others.
Teaching acceptance gives the children the ability to love everyone no matter the differences.
Teaching kindness gives children the ability to value other people, sometimes over themselves.
Teaching a servants heart gives children the ability to want to help others, even when they receive nothing in return.
While it’s highly intimidating to teach the future minds of the world, I feel confident that each interaction, each lesson, each hug is exactly what these children need.