“It is necessary that the human personality should be prepared for the unforeseen, not only for the conditions that can be anticipated by prudence and foresight… For success in life depends in every case on self-confidence and the knowledge of one’s own capacity and many-sided powers of adaptation.”Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence
Dr. Montessori’s words resonate with great relevance during these unprecedented times. From adapting to life through a pandemic to witnessing history-making events, our children respond with classic enthusiasm and resilience. We, as adults, must adapt to new ways of guiding the children and supporting our families.
Montessori philosophy and practices are adaptable to any culture and social needs. One of the fundamental principles of Montessori education is meeting our students where they are.
From the seemingly simple lessons in Practical Life that begin at the Toddler level and spiral through to adolescence, students learn to take care of themselves as well as their environment, and to cooperate with their community—first within their classroom, then the larger school community. They learn to see themselves as valuable members of society.
Our world benefits from students who grow up to be independent, confident, creative, and adaptive members of our society. Montessori education celebrates independence and nurtures the individual, while encouraging social responsibility, empathy, and kindness. These values translate into adulthood. Students graduate with exceptionally developed executive function and problem-solving skills, as well as possessing the much-needed interpersonal aptitudes that are quickly vanishing from today’s society.
Dr. Montessori believed in “educating the human potential.” She believed that this potential reached beyond the limitless possibilities we all possess to learn and do meaningful things.
We are living in extraordinary times, indeed. However, our children’s potential never changes. They continue to grow, to be joyful and kind, and absorb every nuance of our interactions. They learn key lessons that will guide their future. We begin this new year with hope for a bright horizon, limitless possibilities and many more “firsts.”