A key aspect of Montessori education is the concept of the peaceful classroom. When I first learned of the concept, I was skeptical. Isn’t learning supposed to be active?
Over hundreds of visits to Montessori classrooms, I have learned that ‘peaceful’ and ‘active’ are not opposites. There is a flow to children’s engaged energy when learning.
Evergreen is a peaceful place because it is an active place. Children are absorbed in the present moment– not in the next one. In the words of Tara Brach, a leader in the Mindfulness Movement, adults struggle to achieve what children do naturally: “When we look closely, we find that [adults] pass a great deal of time within the mental frame of being “on our way to the next thing”—completing a task that has been hanging over us, getting to our next meal, disengaging from a phone conversation.”
In a classroom, children can be fully engaged and present in the ‘doing of learning’. It’s something I am striving to for myself.