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Lockdown Day 100 – Good Bye!

Our closing thoughts!

From a thought of a 21-day lockdown blog support to a 100-day blog marathon! This is our final post in this series.

One of the things that we as directors of MCSA are passionate about is spreading the Montessori word. Even after 52 combined years in the field, we learn something new every day. The beauty of the Montessori philosophy is that it can be incorporated into all spheres of life. The way we speak to people, the way we interact with people, the way we view the world, and how we continue to develop as global citizens.

We have through our lockdown posts alluded to Peace Education, which is an inherent and unique aspect of the Montessori pedagogy. Children are born ‘useless, unsympathetic and unintelligent’ for good reason. They need to be born ‘unfinished’ into an ever-changing world so that they can adapt to the specific time, place and culture into which they are born. By virtue of this, we as human beings also have the ability to keep changing and evolving the planet that we inhabit, changing it again and again for each generation born.

Sometimes the changes we make to the planet have value. For us, and for the planet and its other inhabitants. Other times, and sadly that means many times, the changes we make are self-centred, greedy and destructive. We take for granted the lives and the planet that are our only home. We destroy its habitats. We assign possession-fuelled hierarchies to its inhabitants. We mess with the self-sustaining ecosystem that was entrusted to everything that lives on the planet for our own gain – at the expense of so many others.

The world has faced many crises since the first Casa dei Bambini opened in Rome in January 1907. Crises created by humans. Adult humans. Adult humans who are supposed to be role-modelling social cohesion, sustainability, holistic generativity, and above all – peace to the children. Now every generation looks to the next to fix the problems created by the previous generations. This is a heavy burden and an unfair legacy to leave to our children.

Once again we are in a time of manmade crisis. And once again, our children bear the brunt of its fallout and the responsibility of reversing the ills of the past.

Our youngest children are the most adaptable at this stage. They are still finding their feet in this world, and what for has been termed in recent weeks ‘the new normal’ is sadly just the ‘normal’ for the youngest members of our society. Is this the base from which we wish them to build the future?

Our adolescents are having an especially hard time right now. COVID-19 news aside, they are questioning the world at large. The news on every front – provincial, national and global – is not pretty, and during this vital developmental time, they need us as their ballast to steady the stormy landscape they find themselves having to navigate and ultimately be the social change agents for.

Our Montessori philosophy tells us over and over, ‘Have faith…the child will reveal her/himself through their work.’ The work of the child is to grow into the adult. Just as the body needs nourishment to develop, the developing child needs social, emotional and spiritual nourishment. And that is the work of the adult. To provide that nourishment.

Over the past 99 days, we hope to have inspired you to reconnect in meaningful ways with your children and with each other. We hope that our posts have given you the ‘freedom’ to put pen and paper tasks and deadlines aside and that you have been able to find the time to just BE with yourselves and your children. We hope that you have realised that learning is more than just academics. That the ‘A’ on a paper makes no difference if our souls are not at peace and in harmony with ourselves, each other and the world at large.

We wish you and your families well as we navigate this troubled world in the weeks and months ahead. Let us find our spirit of Ubuntu and remember individually that ‘I am because WE are’ and let us work together to live together peacefully and sustainably on this beautiful planet we call our home.

We thank you for allowing us into your homes and lives during this pandemic and leave you with Montessori’s wise words on education needing to be seen as a ‘great power that must be used if the world is to be reconstructed’ as taken from a lecture she gave in 1946 just after the end of the Second World War.

“Education is the help we must give to life so that it may develop in the greatness of its powers. To help those forces which bring the child, inert at birth, unintelligent and unsympathetic, to the greatness of the adult being, this must be the plan of education – to see what help we can give.”

From all of us at MCSA – continue to find the gratitude and blessing in your everyday lives and let’s leave our children a better world.

Thank you!
Heidi and Susanne