“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” — Dr. Maria Montessori
We have front row seats to witness the children in our community learn, grow and progress. That growth can look extremely different in each year in the classroom as well as in each individual child. We have the opportunity to celebrate the children in many different ways. In a Primary class, we may see the success of the child in each of his years in our class.
In the first year, we celebrate a child coming out of the bathroom on his own (without using half a roll of toilet paper), washing his hands without using 4 gallons of water and a cup of soap, unpacking his own lunch, getting his own nap mat out and putting it away, spilling her milk at lunch only 2 of the 5 days, doing a multi-step work from start to finish, sitting through the majority of circle without reminders and grasping grace and courtesy lessons.
As the children enter the second year, we start to see the growth in the child’s ability to get to the quiet corner on his own accord (and voluntarily going there for regrouping), sitting through an entire circle, solving a conflict on his own, following routines with few (if any) reminders, staying with works for longer periods of time with deeper levels of understanding and engaging in purposeful work with friends.
If we are lucky enough to have a child stay for his kindergarten year, we will see amazing growth in the maturity of the child through the capacity to give lesson to younger friends, lead a circle, work for long periods of time with deeper meaning, help solve others’ conflicts, search for new ways to do works, have in-depth conversations with us and connect to the work in more meaningful ways.
As you enter parent-teacher conferences, make sure you are celebrating the growth that each individual child has made in the last 4 months. When you reflect on what they’ve learned, compared to their “old self” you will be amazed!