“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.”
“The child is both a hope and promise for mankind.”
– Maria Montessori
The Montessori philosophy is deeply rooted in a foundation of peace. Dr. Maria Montessori was a
passionate advocate for women’s rights and peace. She believed our best chance at social reform was through the intentional education of the young children who will one day be our decision makers and care takers. In our toddler environment, peace education takes many forms.
First, to bring peace, we must first practice peace within ourselves. In T2, we have a meditation table
which serves as a quiet space to experience calm and perhaps self-reflect. Emotional regulation is a skill children are developing in T2. The ability to bring peace to our minds and bodies when something in our environment is not peaceful will be developing for many years to come. Montessorians help children with this task by offering a calm presence when a child is in emotional discord and to offer words or behaviors which can help to bring their minds back to a calm place. Lastly, later in the school year, we will bring out “Emotion Babies,” a work that helps to identify emotions.
Helping others is a basic and tangible form of peace. Recognizing another’s need and putting our own wants aside to meet their need forms strong connections. When we feel empowered by helping one person, we then someday feel encouraged to help greater humanity. In our T2 environment, teachers will often defer help to a child who has mastered the requested skill. For example, in the picture above, Huzaifa assists Aurie with the clip to secure her paper to the easel.
In T2, we also spend time appreciating differences among each other. We talk about food we have on
our plates for lunch, activities we enjoy with our families and notice physical traits like eye color and
clothing. Children are already very aware of differences at this age, so talking about them creates a
normalcy about them. Differences are okay and, beyond that, exciting! Celebrate them!
Waiting patiently, coming together to enjoy music, giving thanks before eating lunch and greeting each other are others ways we foster peace in our classroom.
Thank you to all parents who were able to make it to Parent Teacher conferences. We enjoyed speaking with you about the developments of your incredible children. They have already made outstanding growth since they started their time with us and we look forward to watching them continue to flourish through the remainder of the school year.
Peace and love in the new year,
Amanda Isaksson, Sarah O’Farrell, Acadia Prestidge and Jill Jaworski
Woodland will be closed for winter break from Monday, December 23 – Friday, January 3
Parent Education Event - Saturday, January 11th 1:30-3:30pm