Phone: (517) 787-3026 | Hours: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
North Star Montessori
Preschool & Kindergarten
“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.”
-Maria Montessori, Education & Peace
By Barbara Barnes
NSM Founder & Director
How we resolve conflict and handle our emotions shows children a template on how to handle theirs. That is why we have a deep respect for the special nature of children at North Star Montessori and we are intentional with the words we use to guide them. This respect for children touches all parts of their learning and is interwoven into the careful preparation of the Montessori educator who will be their guide and the Montessori classroom that will be their learning environment.
Children have a unique perspective on life. As they grow and learn from their experiences they form who they will become. Each interaction is an opportunity to build problem solving, social emotional and intrapersonal skills. Children look to the adults in their lives as guides and role models.
We create a space in each one of North Star Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms for a Peace Area. This area is a quiet space where the child can go to relax, and choose activities on their own. It is one of the most popular spaces in the classroom and is used everyday. Children go and peacefully look at books, do yoga, hold our stuffed animal peace frog, play a tiny music box, or just sit/ lie down for a moment. When the child is finished relaxing they can choose to work in another area of the classroom.
In addition to being a quiet space for activities, our Peace Areas are used by children to work out their emotions. Sometimes children come into school tired or out of sorts because things haven’t gone their way. During play time they get upset with one of their friends and they are sad and frustrated. Sometimes children feel nervous about change. They use the Peace Area to take a moment to express their emotions and work through their feelings. It is a safe space to just be. While observing children’s interactions, our teachers approach children and talk to them about their feelings and guide them in conversations with their classmates about their feelings and possible solutions. Other children will also approach and try to comfort and encourage a friend in need.
This week during Peace Week we shared stories about what is means to be peaceful and how children around the world go to school, play with their friends, and spend time with their families and that even though we make speak other languages, or eat different foods we are more alike than different. We learned that the dove is a symbol of peace and created a bulletin board filled with mini peace doves that said what peace it to us. We decided that we wanted to bake little peace dove cookies and share them with our families the next morning at our welcoming drop off circle. Gathered together at circle , hand in hand, we sang March for Peace, by Frank Leto, Musician and Montessori Educator. Listen to March for Peace here: https://soundcloud.com/frankleto/march-for-peace-ukulele-vocals
It was a positive reminder in a rough week in our community where two local schools were closed due to threats of violence and one other on lockdown because of a fatal shooting, that peace starts with us and the children are the future peacemakers.