One of the core values of a strong Montessori program is community. We start from a very young age educating about our place in the universe. From our Great Lessons, we learn about the history and science of our planet and how all beings, great and small, are important to our ability to survive and thrive. We model respectful responsibility, with a love for all living and nonliving things in our world. All of these elements make up our community and deserve our respect.
Within the Montessori Method of learning, we begin with the big picture and gradually work our way smaller. We learn about being good citizens and part of a global community. We have lessons about conservation and environmental care. The students become conscientious citizens who speak out about the importance of caring for our world! Then, we move into the school and classroom community. We practice grace and courtesy with one another. The students learn to have patience and support each other. They learn to work together to overcome problems and create solutions. It is our sincere hope that our students will take what they are learning and continue using these skills within their homes and family community. We model and practice a life full of respect and care for every part and person of our various communities.
I find myself constantly impressed and inspired by our Coastal Montessori Charter School community. The ability to come together and work toward a common goal is skill that will be on no written test, but we all use throughout our lives. As I write these words, I am witnessing CMCS students and families come together to host a Yard and Bake Sale for the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) program’s annual 6th grade trip. These people have given their time to plan and run a community yard/bake sale, all done to help raise money that will get a group of 31 sixth years to New York City. This is just one of a multitude of fundraisers our families are planning and hosting to meet our goal. Our MMUN community works incredibly hard with so much community support to reach our fundraising goal, and this program would not exist without it!
While in New York, these students will meet, discuss, and work on solving problems that the United Nation and its member states are trying to find resolutions for. This incredible and unique opportunity is yet another example of community on a global scale. Students from around the world will attend this conference; they will make new friendships, work together on global issues, and learn so much about the problems we face as a global community. It is a humbling experience to watch them grow and learn right before my eyes.
Dr. Maria Montessori had a vision of a world full of young people being encouraged to observe, learn from, and experience their world. That world is their community, and as they grow these young people become the citizens of the world. It is my hope that they will be prepared to change the world in positive ways. That these young men and women will continue to be a force for good in our global community.