"Teaching is the greatest act of optimism." — Colleen Wilcox
With so much uncertainty surrounding whether or not teachers and students would be returning to school this fall, our Jaq Jaq Bird team would like to take a moment to remind all across that nation that no matter what this semester may look like for you — YOU ARE RESILIENT!
Despite all of the possibilities, together as parents, let us be positive in our response and supportive of our teachers who continue to dedicate their lives to creating a safe learning environment for our little ones, day in and day out.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 and navigating our way through this pandemic has ultimately changed us all in some way, so we recently took the opportunity to speak with the director of a Montessori school located in the Southeast region of the United States, and we asked her to share with us a few things that she hopes to rediscover upon returning to class.
Jaq Jaq Bird: What are a few things that you look forward to most upon returning to the classroom?
Mary Ann: The bright faces and smiles of the children! The song of their laughter and the enthusiasm and joy of discovering/learning something new. In a Montessori environment "following the child" allows the child and the teacher to learn so very much! The teacher, by observing the child, can see what the child's natural interests are, which allows us to present lessons and materials that meet their needs and encourage their passions. It is so amazing to see how the child will then repeat and repeat the activity, allowing the child to completely engage, enjoy and ultimately understand the concept a particular activity teaches.
I simply cannot wait to return to the classroom with the children, I learn so much from them and miss their natural wonder and awe of learning!
Jaq Jaq Bird: After navigating your way through this pandemic and 2020, what are a few things about being an educator that you feel you couldn't possibly take for granted ever again?
Mary Ann: Simply put, the Montessori materials and observing the children at "work". Through this "distance learning" experience, I realized more than ever how very important the Montessori hands on approach is, and it is so pivotal in a child's understanding of concepts. It is truly amazing how the exact lessons for those materials speak to the child. I realized more than ever how priceless these materials are in the learning process for the young child.
Also, when children are learning together and cooperating with each other, the classroom is a thing of beauty. It sings with "constructive" noises and sounds and exudes JOY! I have missed that so much, I can't wait to have it all come together again. I have promised myself that I will never take it these things for granted!
Thank you, Mary Ann, for your contribution! Mary Ann is the director of a children's Montessori school in the Southeast region of the United States.