Magazine article Montessori Life

Telling Our Story

Magazine article Montessori Life

Telling Our Story

Article excerpt

As I observed a holiday with my family this year, I was reminded of the ways in which communities and cultures are established and enriched through their celebrations. We gather eagerly to retell the traditional stories and impart our latest news, buoyed by a spirit of collective consciousness that is expansive and empowering. At tlie same time, oiu reverence for tlie fortitude of those who preceded us, and oiu mandate to stay the course, point us toward tlie future.

In its purest state, celebration is an expression of thankfukiess for an often hard-earned bounty It is an event most keenly appreciated collectively and best maintained through inclusion and growth. This was how I experienced the AMS Centennial Conference in New York City this past Marcii. Surrounded by educators from around tlie world, I have never felt more at home. And I have never felt more challenged.

The strides diat a century's worth of dedicated teachers, administrators, policy-makers, parents, and students have made are profound. Their efforts have placed the student-centered, whole-child, multisensory, multiage principles of Montessori education at tlie forefront of best practices in modem educational theory and practice.

For several days in March, we Montessorians celebrated these achievements. Keynote speakers and workshop leaders took us on a dizzying and delightful series of magic carpet rides to places near and far, sharing their joy in the innate desire of children everywhere to learn. We exchanged experiences, asked questions, proposed solutions, sought clarification, and came away reenergized.

The challenge is to maintain and focus this energy within oiu own communities at home. How can we share what we know to be the consummate value and authenticity of Montessori education in a way that will build regional awareness? The key lies in telling our story, and telling it well. It is oiu responsibility as educators to share tlie Montessori "story" with oiu families, and to celebrate oiu "Montessoriness" by introducing parents to the principles and language of Montessori education in a way that will make them effective ambassadors for oiu schools.

Wliat can you do to tell oiu story?

First, identify and publish special moments and events, classroom activities and accomplishments within yoiu very own school community-and always explain what it is about oiu kind of education that makes this success possible or this story memorable. A group of children who make a quilt might not seem newsworthy, but wliat if tlie quilt is Hie result of a study that recognizes the diversity of family traditions? …

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