who is the “child?”
The child is our present, the child is our future. To behold a child is to behold one of life’s beautiful creations. Their innocence, their intrique, their newness created in each moment. The child’s spirit is deeply connected to living and experiencing life and to loving him or herself. Watching his or her hands or observing a ladybug. Each moment is a discovery filled with wonder and awe. Through spending time in nature they continue to unfold that which is already awakened within themselves and to me they are one of the most precious connections to source energy/ pure love.
As an eduator of “the child” it means to receive a gift. To gently go through the layers of wrapping paper until you get to the child. You learn to get to child through observation.This can be seen as the child learns to find him or her self or as Maria Montessori discussed when they reach “normalization”. When the educator provides the environment for the child to develop self-discipline through listening to his or her inner self, the child will have developed will. This will and faith gives them the building blocks of creating success.
Consistant guidance to allow the individual to develop his or her talents, character and to grown in their development, at his or her own pace while learning the environment around them is the task of educator. The body, mind and spirit of the child are one unit and all these should be a platform for viewing the child.
As we demonstrate love and respect thorough our words of encouragement and kind actions, we allow “the child” to be seen and heard. As we allow children the space to listen to their inner motivation we are allowing them to see and hear themselves. This ability to see themselves will give children the focus to see solutions so that they can better understand their abilities and bring out their treasures .
As children grown and we guide them to appreciate the environment through the care of themselves, the materials, classmates and the world, they learn to be grateful for what they have.
To see, learn and understand the child we must also see and honor pure love within us and as we continue to open our hearts to love, observe, and guide “the child” we will continue to hear the call to honor and cultivate life.
This week Heron enjoyed transfering the 10 kukui nuts to the plate. As he began to put the kukui nut in the appropriate circle I stood back. He was having some challenges holding the tongs. Then I heard him say “I can do this” a few second later he grabbed the kukui nut and exalted “I did it!”. He continued on with much focus. From a distance I smiled internally. Heron is new to Montessori and is learning how to do things independently. At the moment he is in the sensitive period of order. As he repeats the lessons over an over he develops a sense of safety as well as a sense of space. As he repeat the lesson he constructing his brain to develop patterns.
I also presented the lesson of dry transfer and dry transfer with a spoon. He then practiced these lessons. As I observed Heron I thought about how he will continue to benefit from the Montessori method. I also wonder how Maria Montessori felt as she observed her first child or children. I think about how her method inspire children towards things such order, respect, independence and peace.
As we come close to September 21 international day of Peace. I think about a more global perspective. It was nice to learn that during Montessori’s time she put a lot of time and effort into supporting the “Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Rights of the Child. Currently all countries except for Somalia and the United States of America have agreed the law:
“The Convention states that every child has the same rights:
the right to a childhood (which includes protection from harm)
the right to be educated (which includes all girls and boys completing primary school)
the right to be healthy (which includes having clean water, nutritious food and medical care)
the right to be treated fairly (which includes changing laws and practices that are unfair on children)
the right to be heard (which includes considering children's views)”
These rights are something that I agree with as well and something I feel will observe that children have equal opportunity towards.
Montessori, M. (2013) Montessori model united nations. Retrieved from http://montessori-mun.org/why-mmun/maria-montessori/
In 1990 at the World Conference on Education for All, they discussed how education needed to be meet the learning needs of all young people and adults. They also discussed the importance of life skills. I found this interesting as there is a needed to develop practical life skills globally.
As I read this, I began to reflect on my experiences here locally in the school I was in.
3-6 class: During lunch children went to the kitchen got their cups filled it with water drank, cleaned up the cup and hung it up to dry.
6-9 class: I saw a child pick up a squish ball and heard a child say "Someone left their work out" and then he put it away with out asking. This shows he was internally motivated to help keep the environment in order.
9-12 class: Children were doing their weekly jobs such as "cubbieologist" some one who check the cubbies.
I found that through the different years Montessori instills this love and care for the self, other and the environment and many children seemed confident in their abilities to assist.
This week during class we continued to discuss the importance about professionalism and then we discussed practical life. I feel that through grace and courtesy Montessori is laying the foundations for that child to grow up into a professional. I like to further assist children in the growth development by offering an opportunity to use charts and role play for example:
Here is a chart that illustrates this point. I came across this when I worked in the Beekman International School. This chart brings self-awareness into the vicinity of the child. First the child/children identify the factors of what what went on then they choose an appropriate column. As the children learn how to cope with their emotions, they are also problem-solving along with practicing decision making skills.
I feel that practical life allows the child to become full involved in their learning activity/ work. It all provides children invaluable life skills they will use everyday. Through this they will continue to practice and become functioning members of society.
UNESCO (1990, March 9). Regional handbook on life skills programmes for non formal education.Retrieved fromhttp://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002175/217507e.pdf
"Professional Ethics helps us as early childhood educators to think about our responsibilities towards children, families, communities and society..." NAEYC
It is important to conducting oneself in away that allows one to preform ones job to the best of ones ability. It is also vital to treat others with respect and to have discernment and understanding for ones own boundaries and the boundaries of others. Its also necessary to know and understand ones triggers so that one can be present and handle adversity with grace and poise.
In supporting staff members, its important to maintain boundaries to avoid any perceived nepotism. These boundaries will maintain harmony in the class room and break areas as it encourages everyone to work together and to participate equally. It is also important to maintain a pleasant and friendly attitude towards each other and resolve conflict promptly and peacefully.
Families and caretakers It is important to remember that the parents and caretakers are the child's first teachers. These roles must be respected for an effective teacher/parent and teacher/ caretaker relationship to develop. Through mutual respect an open line of communication can be maintained and the teacher can be seen as a resource to the parents or caretakers. While different households will have different views we must maintain our professionalism through compassion and understanding while maintaining the values of the school.
Each child is unique and should be valued as an individual with gifts and talents. The educator's tone should be kind, pleasant and patient to allow for the child to feel safe as they learn and progress. Positive discipline, redirection and teaching children self-regulation is a way to resolve conflict successfully.
Maintain rapport with superiors through open and honest communication while adhering to boundaries. Receiving direction and constructive criticism with openness and grace and responding accordingly. While presenting new ideas make sure to present them with respect.
Commitment to professionalism in education can be reached through consistent interpersonal rapport, communication skills along with demonstrating respect for one values and understanding the values of others.
Feeney, S.(2014) Ethics today in early care and education: review, reflection, and the future retrieved fromhttp://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201003/FeeneyWeb0310.pdf