October 12, 2016
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A September 2, 2016 article in IB World magazine outlines 15 traits that teachers themselves identified as being the characteristics that drive their success. In reading through these traits I am struck with how similar they are to the qualities Maria Montessori sought to inspire in teachers through what she referred to as the “spiritual preparation of the teacher.”
In order to be truly successful, teachers need to cultivate traits such as curiosity, enthusiasm, a positive attitude, the ability to plan, communication skills and reflection. They also need to practice self-care, being a good role model and being accessible to their students. In the end, teachers should aim “not just to help students reach their potential, but help them to surpass their potential.”
This underscores what I have observed during my 30 years as a Montessori educator, administrator, teacher trainer and school consultant: Being a teacher is a path as much as it is a profession; it requires constant work on one’s self. As educators strive to be the best people we can be, our students learn to do the same. Ultimately in its highest form, education is a process of personal growth for everyone involved.
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September 28, 2016
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It is encouraging that more schools are realizing what myriad research studies have shown for decades: that punishment does not work as way of building essential life skills such as how to manage stress and self regulate one’s emotions and behaviors. Brain science and ancient wisdom are combining in new and powerful ways as we realize that simple ways of turning within can help us deal with the often violent and chaotic world outside. I am proud to say that Oneness-Family Montessori School has been a pioneer in teaching students self-reflection skills for over 25 years. I urge educators across the country to look at model programs that are showing dramatic results and include them in their school programs. Our students will gain life long self-management skills and our schools will become safer and happier places to be.
Read on Upworthy: This school replaced detention with meditation. The results are stunning.