Follow the Child — into self-integration and understanding of life.
Follow the Child — into appreciation and enjoyment of living.
Follow the Child — into a society in which that which distinguishes us as individuals contributes to our common cause as human beings.
The stated purpose of Northwoods Montessori is “to provide a foundation for life-long learning which enhances personal integration and understanding of interdependence.”
A. M. Joosten, Montessori Teacher Trainer, encouraged his students with words preserved in a pamphlet, Learning from the Child (A.M.I., 1963). He encouraged them by reminding them that the child lives “with an intensity for which we might well envy him.”
While working with the child, he pointed out, “we,” the child’s parents and teachers, learn to “become like the child” and “strengthen and enrich our own lives with the lessons of his life.”
“Only the child, and especially the very young child, … builds the adult and is the adult’s foundation,” Joosten reminded. “Education has to offer to the child … all the riches mankind has gathered and developed. They—offered and used by the child as means to fulfill his mission—then become also integrated parts of his integrated being and means of integration.”
The school year has begun at Northwoods Montessori. Friday, August 9, Elementary children (the 6-12 year-olds) dropped in to see the renewed environments and greet their teachers.
Monday and Tuesday, new Primary children (the 3-6 year-olds) met their teachers and learned about the routine of their classrooms. Wednesday, we were all back, adults and children, refreshed and ready to immerse ourselves again into the huge pot of experience, communication and fun that is “school.”
There was the joy of recognition along with the delight of meeting someone new, possibly someone with common interests and enthusiasms. This has been exciting—as has been the everyday activity to which we’ve returned, singing songs, reading stories, reveling in a long run on the soccer field.
On Wednesday, August 7, our faculty and staff convened to launch ourselves again into our long run. What do we each bring to the work?
How do we interpret the words of our statement of purpose?
As we start and stop, lope along easily, pass the baton and breathe hard through moments of intense effort, we hope that this school year we will thoroughly and faithfully Follow the Child. That this will offer our children the means of becoming themselves and of embracing our shared and interdependent world. That one day all humanity will Follow the Child.
Aren’t we proud of our long tradition of stability and vision?
…of our beautiful, well-equipped classrooms?
…of the qualities of experience, dedication and varied interests in our faculty and staff?
…of our wooded campus and its pine-scented morning air?
Yes, of course. Northwoods Montessori is a special place.
We who work here never forget, however, that the purpose, the joy and the beauty of Northwoods Montessori can best be seen in the children who are schooled and who school us here in this wonderful place.
Follow our blog this year and Follow the Child with us.