Celebrate Dr. Maria Montessori’s Birthday
This truly international celebration will have live events posted for the various time zones, and the organizers from Montessori Everywhere have supplied us all with a wonderful press kit, wording for a newsletter, a button for your website, Facebook banners etc.
Registration is easy and any donations will go toward the Black Montessori Education Fund.
This is a chance for a special celebration!
Introduction to Anti-Bias Education
Presented by Britt Hawthorne
Here is a course offered through the Trillium Montessori organization: An Intro to Anti-Bias Education Course with Britt Hawthorne. This online course is an excellent way to begin the journey to self – improvement so we can show up more fully for our students. Britt has been presenting this workshop in person to large groups for a number of years and it is available as an online course that participants can watch at their convenience. This course consists of 4+ hours of video content plus a workbook. You can receive a 5 hour PD certificate for completing it.
VIEW COURSE: Introduction to Anti-Bias Education
Regular Price: $190/person
August 17, 2020
Hello there! My name is Hugh Merson, and I am a presenter at MTC with more than ten years of experience as a Casa guide. My work on the MTC team, especially preparing lectures on Montessori philosophy and theory, has given me a renewed interest in Dr. Montessori’s writing and, after the years I’ve spent practicing Montessori’s methods, a different appreciation for it than when I first encountered it as a student. In this series of blog entries, I will share passages from Montessori’s work that stand out to me and my reflections on them grounded in my experiences as a guide. I hope you found them interesting, maybe even helpful.
The first entry in this series focuses on a passage from The Discovery of the Child. Found in Chapter 18, “Teaching How to Count and an Introduction to Arithmetic”, Montessori describes her method for teaching the concept of zero to a group of children.
I place myself in their midst. As they are seated about me in their little chairs, I turn to one of them who has already performed a number exercise and say: “Come, dear, come to me zero times.” The child will almost always run up and then return to his place. “But, my child, you have come to me once, and I told you to come zero times.” “But what then should I have done?” “Nothing, for zero is nothing.” …We repeat the exercise. “You, my dear, throw me zero kisses with your fingers.” The child trembles, smiles, and stays quiet. “Did you understand?” I repeat in an almost passionate tone. “Send me zero kisses, zero kisses.” I stop. I lower my voice as if I were angry at their laughter and address one severely, even threateningly. “You, come here zero times! I tell you, come here zero times. Do you understand. I am speaking to you. Come here zero times!” He does not move. The laughter becomes even more boisterous, aroused as it is by my change of attitude, first of entreaty and then of threats. “But then,” I sadly sigh, “Why do you not come? Why do you not come?” Then they all shout in a loud voice, with their eyes gleaming and almost weeping from joy and laughter: “Zero is nothing! Zero is nothing!” “Ah, is that so?” I ask, smiling peacefully, “Then all of you come here to me one at a time!” And they rush up to crowd me. While reading this, I could feel the smile on my face getting wider and wider. It speaks to an underrepresented aspect of the Montessori environment – the shared moments of humour and joy between adult and child. As Montessorians we know that young children learn best through sustained interaction with a prepared environment and that as guides our energy is best spent designing, maintaining and animating that environment. The prepared environment is a go-between, the place where the adult and child meet. But this passage points out that even Dr. Montessori herself found time to skip that go-between and make direct connections with the children in her care. Not all the time – Montessori guides are not performers, and a guide that is a little too “present” can be an obstacle to the child’s work of self-formation – but this example illustrates the power of direct connections and the lasting lessons that can come from them.
John Hume: January 18, 1937
August 3, 2020
John Hume was born in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland. He came from a simple, Irish Catholic background. Today he was described at his funeral service as a Paragon of Peace.
Ireland is a partitioned country with 6 of its northern counties still under UK rule. John became aware of the inequities of life for the Catholic majority in the north of Ireland as a child. He became a teacher, but from the 1960s pursued a journey to promote peace in Ireland through non-violent means.
Without his courageous insistence on unpopular dialogue with violent gunman, there would have been no peace in Ireland. He believed that “difference is just an accident of birth.”
The Canadian, General John De Chastelain oversaw the task of the complete decommissioning of paramilitary arms in 2000 in Ireland, and he assisted the US Senator George Mitchel in bringing to conclusion the final Peace Agreement in 1997 between the UK and Ireland.
John Hume reached out to global policy makers and encouraged centuries-old enemies to lay down arms, to shake hands and, finally, to sit together as joint power sharers in Northern Ireland.
John Hume was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, The Gandhi Peace Prize and the Martin Luther Peace Award during his lifetime.
“I never thought in terms of being a leader.
I thought very simply of helping people,” he said.
I thought of Dr. Montessori’s words today as I listened to all the heartfelt tributes paid to John Hume, when she tells us in her book Education and Peace:
“All humanity that works for the common good, even though it may be unaware of it, is creating the new world that must be the world of peace.”
So, while I thank John Hume for his life’s work for peace in Ireland, I am also reminded that the foundation of our work as Montessorians is to –
“develop the spiritual life of man and then organize humanity for peace.”
– By Paula Glasgow
June 25, 2020
The Montessori Teachers College Board wish to announce the retirement of Debbie Couture, who has been our Registrar and Administrator for the last 13 years.
We will miss Debbie’s courteous efficiency and graciousness. We know our MTC faculty, current adult learners and our extensive alumni will also miss Debbie’s friendly presence.
We thank Debbie for her years of service with Montessori Teachers College and wish her a happy and fulfilling retirement.
Tanya Chambers will be continuing Debbie’s work during a transition period.
April 9, 2020
This week the Full Pink Moon was present in our skies. Many of us spent time outside to wonder at this marvelous phenomenon.
We are anxious and worried at this troubling time in our history when we seem to be facing a new way of life. The way ahead will be different and may not be easy but we know that human beings are resilient, creative and adaptive. Previous generations have overcome other similar situations and we will also.
Dr. Montessori, in her book To Educate the Human Potential tells us that “Life is a cosmic agent.” She understood that everything and everyone on Planet Earth has a task to complete that benefits all. In that book she discusses Early Great Civilisations and their wonderful achievements. We continue to benefit from the work of these early previous civilisations. Think of the History of Writing.
We can find peace and joy in our daily lives in a variety of ways – just take a quiet moment to reflect on a piece of prose, music, poetry, nature, such as birdsong or the Pink Moon to bring peace to our spirits.
If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere. Seamus Heaney, Poet.
I am thinking of you all in these distressing times. It seems the world is in turmoil and the people are suffering.
Where can we find hope – hope to know that these times will pass?
Some of us will find hope in music, others will find hope in poetry, more will find hope in chats with friends and family.
Yet more will find hope in the writings of Dr.Montessori or those who follow her.
For example, Aline D. Wolf writes in her book: Nurturing the Spirit:
“A child shows us the extraordinary in the ordinary,” quoting from Jean Grasso Fitzpatrick’s book: Something More.
All of us will find hope in the faces, innocence and spiritual gifts of children.
I’m sure many of us are receiving inspiring and uplifting sharings/sayings/videos via various media.
Do share these around. Your contact may be exactly what someone is waiting for.
My sharing for today is an extract below from a poem titled Take Care by Michael D. Higgins:
In the journey to the light,
the dark moments
should not threaten.
that you hold steady.
Bend, if you will,
with the wind.
The tree is your teacher,
roots at once
in the soil
Keep safe. Next blog soon.