Monday, January 16, 2017

MLK Jr. Day

I was very touched to read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak about education this way, especially right now. I always get very emotional on this day, and am having trouble finding words to describe all the things I am feeling on this particular MLK day, so close to President Obama's last day in office.  I am concerned about the climate in the US, and how it will affect my children.  

One of the reasons I love Montessori Education, one reason I am drawn to it, is because it encourages children to have a global perspective.  Montessori build into the pedagogy, lessons to educate children on different cultures and how to care for other humans.  Montessori schools practice Peace education, and conflict resolution is actually part of the curriculum.  Montessori believed children are the hope of humankind. 
“Within the child lies the fate of the future.” 

“Preventing war is the work of politicians, establishing peace is the work of educationists.” 
― Maria Montessori

This photo of my 3 year old doing the Pink Tower is iconic of Montessori education.  I love this photo so much, and I love the pink squares he cut out and carefully glued onto the paper.  He is showing focus and concentration, and he is enjoying his work.  This is what Dr. King was talking about, giving a child things worthy to concentrate on, and allowing them the power of concentration.  From there, education builds, just like each block of the Pink Tower, to support a human who is aware of issues in society, who is empathetic and loving.  Education isn't just about academics.  It is about allowing a child to blossom into who they were meant to be, not forcing them to be something they are not.
The younger generation has always been the leaders of social change, and I don't think it will be any different now.  We need a strong group of young people to lead us out of this mess we have created.  I will continue to do my part as a teacher, helping to guide children and teachers as best I can.