I find it fascinating that I have ended up in work that is based entirely on very young children, despite a lifetime of having a general indifference toward them. One of my (many) jobs is at a Montessori school, in the infant-toddler room. While I have never considered myself necessarily passionate about children, I am passionate about education, particularly the way it is done in the Montessori classroom.
When I started working there it was to put a roof over my head after a stint in homelessness and to help me afford to send my kids to school there. I chose Montessori before they were even born. Growing up, I did fine in the public school system. I was bored and varied between giving a fuck based on the teacher I had at any given time–essentially the luck of the draw–but I typically made good grades.
My brother, however, did not. He spent most of his childhood being treated very poorly by the system, and as a result, he dropped out in the 8th grade. I knew that I was not okay with that happening to my children, so I sought out a better way.
I was excited to start working at the school, but I never pictured myself here nearly a year later, contemplating long-term plans. But something in me has shifted.
My passion for education has evolved. Where once I found fascination only in the method, now I am constantly finding myself totally engrossed in watching a child at work. In the quiet art of observation, I can make great discoveries in the subtleties at play in front of me. A child that is challenging or “problematic” is suddenly blossoming and beautiful, right before my very eyes…
In short, while the Montessori method is wonderful, I have come to the conclusion that children, all children (not just my own), are pure magic.