Love is a guiding force within the Montessori curriculum, and something that is palpable in our classroom environments. Love guides each lesson that is taught, through the soft, gentle voice of the guide as she demonstrates how to trace a sandpaper letter with her finger, or even modeling how to use the correct vocabulary and body language when diffusing a conflict between two friends. Love is one friend helping another comb their hair and wipe their face at the self-grooming table, or tie each other’s shoes in preparation to go outside. Love is a fundamental building block for nearly every lesson taught in the classroom.
One of my favorite blogs is from Baan Dek Montessori, which emphasizes the power of love shown in the classroom, and the influence that the true nature of the child has on society.
A few of my favorite passages taken from the article…
“The child is the only point on which there converges from everyone a feeling of gentleness and love.”
“People’s souls soften and sweeten when one speaks of children; the whole of mankind shares in the deep emotions which they awaken. The child is a well-spring of love. ”
Montessori implores us to take a step back, to study the phenomenon of love, with fresh, careful, and uninhibited eyes. If love holds the secret power to unite mankind, she says, why shouldn’t we spend more time concentrated on its practical implications. In particular, why don’t we focus our attention, and turn towards the nature of childhood: the child is the point of convergence.
Montessori, then, changes the landscape of how we normally think about love by shifting the terrain. She tries to tell the story of love from the ‘point of view of life itself’. It’s not about desire or imagination, she expresses, but a commitment to reality. A commitment to see things how they are, and envision what they might become.
“Love has not been analyzed by the poets and by the prophets, but it is analyzed by the realities which every child disclosed to himself. ”
Love draws us together. The love of learning draws us further towards what Montessori envisioned. While love may not be overtly taught, it is something ever palpable, in classrooms throughout the world. We can feel it in the pride our teacher tries to hide as we accomplish a task only days before we were too afraid to even try. We wonder, with the generosity only children can deliver, what these classrooms of love might one day yield.
See the link below to read the article in full.