As I awaited the re-opening of the school I started preparing myself mentally to receive children. I had my own pre-conceived notions... my experience with the children in the past and especially with the older children told me that children forget what they have learnt, which has always bothered me and coaxed me to think that there is something about how we teach that does not engage the senses of the children as anything learnt with senses cannot be easily forgettable.
With a Montessori my expectations were a little different but I was still wary of the two month break that would have replaced the love for the school environment with a void that will have to be re-filled. My thoughts were working and reworking scenarios to engage the children continuing from the previous year and manage the new children who would be filled with
anxiety in the new environment. Though we had ensured the new children had visited the school few times in the holidays to feel comfortable we knew beginning school for the first timers is always hard.
Come the first day of the school we all arrived early. The entire team went over all the possible scenarios for a smooth day.
When the children arrived all our worries vanished... The smiles on the continuing children told us that they had missed us equally as we had missed them. The new children though a little cautious were at ease.
What surprised us the most was their comfort with which they took to the environment.
For a long time my mind has seeked clarification for a quote of Maria Montessori:
"We await the successsive births in the soul of the child. We give all possible material, that nothing may lack to the groping soul, and then we watch for the perfect faculty to come, safeguarding the child from interruption so that it may carry its efforts through."
The first day of the new academic year and the answer to my puzzle was being enacted live in front of me. The children that I had thought would need to be re-calibrated were in the classroom as if from yesterday and were graduated to the next level. To my surprise the youngest of them all who had spent the year before observing the older children working was exploring new material, working with them relentlessly and solving without any presentations required. What amazed us all was the longing in the children to be in the classroom and working with the material.
We were simply happy as we knew we were ready to satisfy their curiosity and open up new avenues of thought.
We are not only eager but look forward to an amazing year ahead.