maria montessori
facebook            simona nicolae
simona@mariamontessori.ro



INTERESTING TO READ... october 2013

or "INTERESTING TO DO"?
 
 
I couldn't brace myself to start writing....but today, I've realised that there's no other way but to do this :)) - you will soon understand my virtual smile.
Each day I see so many things, and I would sometimes love not to see them, because I have the feeling that the famous Bible quote "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" applies in my case.
From a hospital toilet where one can see a poster saying "Do not waste water!", a message that I take a bit personally because the basin is broken and the water keeps pouring, to the children "abused" in public transportation means, parks, etc., with words like: "I don't want to hear any of your nonsense", "shut up or I'll leave you here!" or other such brutal words, and up to the parents who give up taking measures against the absolutely nonsensical measures teachers, educators or professors take or impose to children, in all types of schools: private, public, alternate, traditional, curative, etc. And all, but I mean all these things are related to education or rather to the need for education.
Preoccupied by our own or others' purposes, we stop living, we forget the most important thing: the care towards the human being.
We pity stray dogs, but what about our children? We find it easier to express our love and compassion towards animals than towards another human being?
I keep hearing around me stories about children who "destroy", who "will not understand", who "will not obey".
Until recently I did nothing but listen. Even if, in my attempt to do my work properly, I took notes in parks or in other public areas where children were present, and I could see that it actually was the cause-effect.
Now that school has started, I also resumed my work in the classroom, and, though it does not equal being a parent, I can state, and I will continue to firmly believe it, that these children are not children "who destroy", what they actually do is tear down the barriers that we, adults, raise in the route to their development. They are not children who "will not understand", what they do not understand is why it is that we, the adults refuse to actually live. They are not children who "will not listen", they actually will not listen what we are trying to impose upon them out of conceit, as an expression of our own will or pride. Submission is a gradual process in children.
At first, the child submits to the adult's will (he allows the adult to guide him): never or only when he finds it suitable.
Then, he makes his presence felt as follows: sometimes yes, sometimes no.
And, in the last stage of this process, the child submits to the adult's will (allows the adult to guide him): always, understanding that the adult will never ask him to do something against his natural development, so that the child actually gives in to him-/herself.
But in order for them to reach this stage, what we need to do first of all is to work with ourselves so that what we ask them actually supports their development, and is not aimed at maintaining or increasing our comfort.
If we manage to reach an agreement/a consensus with ourselves it's impossible to be unable to reach that with another human being. In the case of the relation with the child, we are actually facing our inability to cope with ourselves, not with him.
People say we shouldn't replace personal experience with books, because they do not teach us to think, but to use the thinking of others. They teach us to believe a lot, but never to actually know something.
Children do/they act and this is how they gather knowledge. We, the adults, are afraid to do things, lest we should fail. So that we are good at theory, unlike children who surpass us by far in practice. We should admire them, firstly for their courage to do and secondly because they remind or sometimes even teach us to do.
The important thing is not to reach perfection, because that's impossible, the important thing is to do. And when we fail, the important thing is to correct (ourselves and others) in a warm, kind, and natural manner.
 
We are human beings and we are beautiful with all our imperfections.