Dear Casa III Families,
First of all, I would like to welcome our new student Elliot, whom we are so happy to have as part of our Casa III community.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the families who were able to contribute to Jazz for JMS. It was wonderful seeing you at the event having a great time and we truly appreciate all your support.
Also, I would like to thank all the families for signing up for spring conferences; it is always very nice to see you and discuss your child’s progress. One of my favorite conversations during the first session of the conferences took place with the family that shared their experience about the observation appointment.
While observing, the parents witnessed their child take out four cylinder blocks and bring them to the small table. At first, the child was acting very distracted (she knew her parents were watching, so the excitement took over her body): the cylinders kept falling off the table as she tried to pick them up swiftly. While doing so, the child would frequently look back to see if her parents were still watching through the doors. A few minutes later there was a very loud noise - a lot of the cylinder blocks and the cylinders fell off the table. The classroom got very quiet and everybody looked over to see what was going on. At that moment, the parents have witnessed one of the amazing things I get to see every day: once the children realized what had happened, they spontaneously ran to help their friend to pick them up. No one said a word to the child as they all collectively just helped her get all the cylinders back on the table. Once the children were done putting the work away, the parents’ child kindly thanked them and everyone resumed their work. This family was amazed by the sense of community and how compassionate the children were towards each other in our casa.
One of the reasons why this type of behavior is more likely to happen in a Montessori Classroom is because of the whole environment being created to support and encourage the children to live as a micro community. Having the children with mixed ages of 2.9 to 6+ years placed together in a three- or four-year cycle program is one of the factors in creating a successful micro community. As a result, the pro-social behavior is enhanced; the environment is so rich on every level that it meets the intellectual capacities of all members. Peer teaching is constantly encouraged, when younger and older children work next to each other/help each other - a special connection, which builds, embraces, and maintains the sense of community and compassion among the children.
We feel extremely fortunate to have families that also notice and appreciate these “small” gestures from the children in our casa and we are also thankful to be able to experience these beautiful acts of kindness from your children every day!
We hope all of you have a beautiful and safe spring break.
Sharon, Willow, and Maria
Suggested read: article on the Maria Montessori website about conversations with your child upon their departure from school: http://mariamontessori.com/mm/?p=2699