It is the third week of the school year 2017-2018 of Shamrock Montessori. How time flies! It's such a blessing for me, a non-educational person, to watch how Dawn, my wife, and Jasmine take care of the children in the past 2 weeks. Dawn and I have talked about Montessori and children all the time, however, it's still so touching to see it in practice. The love, the kindness and the professional skills they've been demonstrating, is so breath taking that I always have tears fountaining in my eyes. I think to myself that I should share my observations and feelings with others, the parents who love their children, the young people who like to know what it's like to raise a child in the Montessori way. I'm not a writer, but I hope my humble words can still touch the deep corner of your heart.
"Good morning! How are you?" Every morning, when children arrive, Ms. Jasmine would welcome them in a happy smiley voice. Then the children will change their shoes and enter the classrooms. Some younger children would cry when they have to say goodbye to the mommy, contrary to the happiness of the good morning. Sometimes, a child, let's call him Max, would sit on the carpet, looking at nowhere, but not change shoes. When I see this, I naturally want to push him to finish it, especially if he is sitting there thinking about his own magical world. I would naturally want to say, hey, let's get changed and get to work. I feel it's nothing wrong, and I believe most of us would agree. But Dawn and Jasmine handle this situation differently. They would say "Hi Max, let's get changed and get into the classroom. There are the work you like." And they talk with him just like normal friend's talk. They never tries to push him to move faster. I saw Dawn bring her own work and sit down on the carpet beside Max. Dawn would say "Max, no worry, take your time. I'd like to sit with you and work together. Do you like that?". In this way, Dawn is able to make sure Max is safe and there is no accident happening.
I ask, "why don't you push them and have them do it quicker? Changing shoes is just a simple quick work." Dawn says, "because when a child behaves like that, it's likely that they are still not comfortable with the new environment. They are worried. They need some time to get comfortable. We adults have already forgotten the feeling when we were a child like them, when we stepped into the school for the first time. Did we cry? Yes. Now let's recall this feeling when we were like them. How would you feel if the teacher pushed you to do anything when you were still sad about mommy not with you? We must be patient and wait on them. They'll change eventually, maybe for a couple days, weeks, even months. We, as educators, should be patient. And above all, understand them and put us in their shoes to think. That's what love asks for, and to love is what we do."
The bible says, LOVE IS PATIENT. When you love someone, you'll wait on her, even if you are in a hurry. You might know the answer to a question, but you wait, until the one you love figures out her own answer. When you love someone, you'll wait on her to wander around, and eventually turn her eyes back on you, even if your heart is upset. You know because you love, you give her time and space to deal with her issue in her own pace. You know what she needs to do, you know what the answer is, however, you choose to keep it to yourself, and show a smile to her. Because of love.