As a teacher in a Montessori based classroom I am privileged to see the wonder and excitement in the children’s eyes. When a child becomes absorbed in what they are doing, I dare not interrupt them, for I’ve learned that is the time when great learning is taking place in the mind and heart of a child.
Montessori has been around for over 100 years and was started by Maria Montessori. She was the first woman Doctor in Italy and was a Master of Scientific Observation of children. Montessori is not a method- it is a way of life! It is about slowing down, taking time, and working without interruption. It allows the dignity of the child to develop further into the person they are to become. Montessori is about grace, courtesy, kindness, and developing a love for learning. When given the opportunity a child can grow into an independent, self-sufficient individual. The Montessori classroom combines mixed ages of children which helps with confidence building and leadership skills. For example, when a child begins in a Montessori classroom at the age of three they become a Mentor to the children entering the classroom the following year, as they already know the beginning lessons. The lessons advance each year for the children remaining in the Montessori classroom until they are ready to graduate to the next grade level.
Many famous people, some being entrepreneurs, were Montessori educated at some point in their life. Dailymontessori.com had an article entitled “Who Are Famous Montessori Educated People?" Listed below are names of some famous people and what they are known for:
Larry Page and Sergey Brin – founders of Google
Jeff Bezos – founder of Amazon
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis – former first lady to John F. Kennedy
Sean “P. Diddy”Combs – singer
Prince William and Prince Harry
T. Berry Brazelton – pediatrician and author
Julia Child – author, chef, TV cooking shows
Elizabeth Berridge – actress
Kami Cotler – actress
Melissa and Sarah Gilbert – actors
Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Nobel Prize winner for Literature
Katherine Graham – ex owner of the Washington Post
Anne Frank – author and diarist from WWII
Written by: Nichole Finzer
It may seem as if a project of this nature is non-tangential to a Latin course, but we, as humans are integrated wholes. As a teacher, I strive to incorporate group-work in Latin so that scholars are not merely participating in an intellectual and cerebral foray into an ancient language, but so that they are doing both the aforementioned AND discovering what it means to be human. They are also experiencing an enjoyable sense of camaraderie with peers simultaneously (an important part of a Classical education).
Such a large part of being a human is grounded in relationship- with God and with other people. The term sobornost (a Russian concept) comes to mind. Sobornost expresses the need for cooperation between people, at the expense of their individualism, on the basis that the opposing groups focus on what is common between them. Group Work provides opportunities for scholars to experience opposing ideas, compromise, and ultimately sacrifice their own will for the good of all, creating something together that is better for the fact that it has been created together.
Teaching healthy conflict, resolution options, and even reconciliation is not necessarily what I thought being a Latin teacher would mean when I began the journey six years ago, but it has become a large part of what I do every day. During this stained glass project, mistakes have been made; some names are backwards, some techniques did not work out so well, but please LOOK RIGHT during morning drop-off! You’ll see the stained glass windows- and your scholars cooperation and community with each other- on display soon!
As Borromeo Academy nears the end of our third year following the Classical Model, we continue to ponder the question, "how does technology fit into our educational program?" With this model, we have a curriculum that is firmly rooted in Christ, and based on the classic principles of fostering a love for truth, beauty, and goodness. Understandably, parents also want to be sure that their children are groomed to keep up with the ongoing technological advancements that are critical in our modern world. So, where does that leave us in the traditional Classical classroom that has been devoid of technology? We must find a practical balance.
We are living in a time where it is difficult, if not impossible, to go through a day without using technology in some fashion. I remember when I was eight years old, and my parents purchased their first microwave, an enormous contraption that took up half the countertop space in our avocado green kitchen and could heat food in seconds. We were becoming the Jetsons! The pièce de résistance was when my sister and I no longer had to wear a 'shower cap with a hose attached' to dry our hair. Talk about old school.
Not only has technology changed the modern conveniences in our homes, it has created advances in medicine, manufacturing, general business, data mining, and the vast other areas, including academics. With the development of 'Smart' technology, we have access to a wealth of information at our fingertips. While technology should never be used to replace a good book or a classic work of literature, technology can offer enhancements to a student's reading materials and deepen their understanding of the curriculum. How incredible is it to be able to study an era in history and have the ability to listen to the music, view the art, and read scholarly articles relating to that period? Technology can have a place in the Classical classroom when teachers are intentional about how it is incorporated in the search for truth, beauty, and goodness.