SHOW AND TELL
Bring a picture of a public servant.
(Politician, judge, police officer, park ranger, teacher, etc.)
Topic: Service Professions
The work adults do
The value is honor, which means that we never lie, cheat, or steal.
For safety we’ll learn about being safe in the summer on the water and in the sun.
Outside we’ll play come along and red light/green light. We’ll also play with mud.
The songs we’ll be singing are Happy Talk, It’s a Small World, Getting to Know You, Singing in the Rain, and Catch a Falling Star.
Our art activities are firefighter hat, park ranger collage, police vest, driver’s license, and scratch drawing.
Creative dramatics will be to practice traffic safety.
For motor development we’ll build stamina with jumping jacks, high knees, burpees, and quick knees. For body development, we’ll work on vestibular function with snake roll, blindfold bowling, bounding bodies, and alternate twirling.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
It’s one thing to define a problem; it’s quite another to propose a solution. There’s a lot of soul searching going on right now as we try to define what we want our new normal to be. There’s a model in Nordic countries that is based on the concept of bildung. It means the complete moral, emotional, intellectual, and civic transformation of a person. It is based on the idea that if people are going to be able to handle and contribute to an emerging society, they need complex inner lives. The idea is to create in the mind of citizens a sense of wider circles of belonging — from family to town to nation — and an eagerness to assume shared responsibility for the whole. Intuition of Nordic educators was that as people grow, they have the ability to go through developmental phases, to see themselves and the world through ever more complex lenses. A young child may blindly obey authority — Mom, Dad, teacher. Then she internalizes and conforms to the norms of the group. Then she learns to create her own norms based on her own values. Then she learns to see herself as a node in a network of selves and thus learns mutuality and holistic thinking. Educators have been working on this model for decades. Nordic countries now have the lowest rates of corruption in the world with a distinctive sense of the relationship between personal freedom and communal responsibility. But high social trust doesn’t just happen. It results when people are spontaneously responsible for one another in the daily interactions of life, when the institutions of society function well.
As Montessorians, we’re intensely concerned with how we’re building the world we want to live in. From Caughlin Butler, a middle school student at First Montessori of Atlanta, in a speech to the International Montessori Council’s Congress and Peace Academy as one of the “Voices of the Children” came this perspective:
“After sifting through my thoughts and observations on the differences between Montessori and traditional schools, I return to my opening questions, how is the Montessori curriculum different and what difference has it made for me? My conclusion is that Maria Montessori herself was different. Montessori had a goal that was higher than that of other educators. She strived, not to create highly talented students, but to instead fashion noble people. She wished to teach peace to children, so that they can teach peace to the world. This being her mission, she devised a teaching program that gave children the tools they would need to someday fulfill what she called their Cosmic Task. Students in Montessori schools are taught to ask the question “How can I make the world a better place?” This is the fundamental difference in the Montessori curriculum; it teaches a higher purpose. However, Montessori is not a miracle approach. It is only as good as it is used. Noble students are the product of nurturing environments at school and home, emphasis on the proper values, and a consistency in the things a child is taught. How has the Montessori curriculum made a difference to me? It has taught me to strive to do noble works.”
We would do well to begin designing our world so that we all do noble work. We can have this vision. Now we have to fill in the details for our new normal.
Where to Start With Bildung – The editorial this week is so general that it’s hard to get our heads around such huge concepts. Every week in the enrichment curriculum, our children work on a ‘value’. They are things like honor (this week), courage, collaboration, joy, justice, and responsibility. We give them words to describe these values and then actions to understand how to do those big concepts. As the adults in our children’s lives, a way to chunk these concepts down is to think of three ways to begin to build such values in our families.
Dare We Plan Ahead? – Monday, May 25, is Memorial Day in honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to further the values of our country. The school will be closed on that day.