I was five, when I reached this milestone, that I first became acquainted with the law of love: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. I had no difficulty in finding out at once, Ms. Grieveson, who conducted class after the Montessori system, represented love in every fiber of her being.
It might of taken a moment to spot her in the environment, she generally was not the center of attention, and spent very little time giving group lessons. Her role, along with all certified trained Montessori teachers, focused around the preparation and organization of appropriate learning materials, to meet the need and interest of each individual child in the class room. You normally could find her on the floor working with one or two children at a time, advising, presenting a new lesson, or quietly observing her class at work. She used her observation skills to determine what, if any, changes needed to be made in the class to facilitate each child’s growth and development and then gently guiding them to the prevailing lessons.
She kept her lessons as brief as possible and with precision, with one goal in mind; intrigue the children, so they will come back to the material for further exploration on their own. These presentations equipped me to investigate the work independently, while becoming self-disciplined, and more able to use the materials with minimal adult assistance. After she presented a work she would step back to observe and allow me the satisfaction of my own discovery. While observing, her knowledge of appropriate developmental milestones, helped to determine if each child is on track. If not she used her notes on each child’s development, to help her choose a new course of action.
Once in the class, Ms. Grieveson presented a language work to me, I hit a wall, and was unable to grasp the concept. I can’t remember now which variation and extension of the material I was on; however, I do remember what Ms. Greiveson did. She insisted that I repeat the exercise until I attained mastery, before allowing me to move forward. At the time I was oblivious to how blessed I was to be in the Montessori school rather than conventional, because I could work at my own pace and was given the time I needed to learn a basic skill in development, while my self-esteem and joy for learning stayed intact. Weeks turned into months, but once the skill was mastered, my response, to whom taught me how to do the work, was boldly, “myself.” A direct result of an education system focused on children learning, not teachers teaching. As you can imagine, it’s a revolutionary approach to education- a return to the authentic.
What really interested me, to capture this event in mind, is that even today my learning capacity and understanding for writing is still growing, a skill based upon proper language development.