Much has been made of multi-tasking. It’s a busy world, we know. So the more you can do at once, the better off you are, right?
Take a moment (if you have one) to consider the power of concentration. In Montessori education, concentrated effort is essential. Once children have begun to concentrate they become completely transformed… calmer, more intelligent and more expansive.
In a Montessori classroom, children can pursue a single line of self-focused work. The goal is full absorption. When the work is absorbing, challenging and self-directed, young children engage in deep and sustained concentration.
Have a look at concentration in a classroom… can you imagine anything deeper?
Special thanks to Dr. Angeline Lilliard for her work on Montessori and Mindfulness.
Over 250 current and alumni families, past and present faculty members of Evergreen Montessori School in Silver Spring, Maryland dedicated a new custom-designed Tree House play structure in honor of the 30-year career of Primary Division Director Marilynn Liotta. The dedication of the Tree House took place at the school’s annual Spring Festival and featured a violin recital and choral concert. Guest speakers included Mrs. Lynn Pellaton who served as Head of School from 1972 to 1996.
The Tree House is all natural and was constructed from sustainably harvested Black Locust logs and Osage Orange branches. The Tree House is a permanent part of the school’s award-winning rain garden and was built by local craftsman Marcus Sims. Ms. Liotta is retiring at the end of the school year.
Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. —Henry Ford
It must be spring time.
Schools like ours love to dig into big questions about Mission and Identity. Who are we? What do we value? and What sets us apart?
Beneath some school’s verbose Mission statements and punchy belief statements, deeper than their platitudes and clichés, lies their vision of The Good Life. What does it mean to live well? How do we prepare our children to do so?
You will not be surprised that Evergreen believes the Good Life requires core academic skills: reading, calculating, problem solving, analysis, inference and synthesis.
But more, the Good Life is filled with loving relationships with the people who surround us and endow our lives with meaning. The Good Life is about people and purpose. What can we do today to make it likely that our children will become compassionate husbands and wives, moms and dads, neighbors and friends?
For us, cooperation-based, multi-aged Montessori classrooms are the best place to develop self-assured and self-actualized young people. With our emphasis on developing confidence and competence, children view themselves as capable of doing hard, meaningful things. They become secure with their identity in a stress-free, supportive classroom community rather than a socially competitive one.
To lead the Good Life, according to the Evergreen formula, one must have unquenchable curiosity, an appreciation of beauty, a sense of duty to others, engagement with the world we live in and a vision for a better one. It starts with knowing and loving ourselves.