What a bright sunny festive morning! ILM looked beautiful with flower decorations to celebrate the beginning of its second academic year. As our parents trickled in, we led them to our art room for a special activity. We requested parents to create a special piece of artwork to welcome their little darlings on their first day back to school. It was charming to see parents pouring over their masterpieces, giving their absolute best.
It wasn’t long afterwards that we were to begin that our orientation began. We introduced our existing and new team members Sheeba, Margaret, Lubna, Rameeza, Rekha and Manjula. Sheeba Abidi, joined as our new principal. Margaret as you all know is our office administrator, Lubna is the teacher for pre-primary group, Rameeza will be teaching the elementary group, Rekha and Manjula are our carers.
We were very fortunate to have Vasantha Kumari ji who we fondly call “Vasantha aunty” as our keynote speaker. Vasantha aunty is well known as a veteran and stalwart of the Montessori way in Bangalore. She is associated with reputed Montessori training institutes and initiatives in the city. She also runs her own Library and Activity Center called Young Creators Den, a unique activity centre, based on Montessori principles for children aged 5 to 15 in Banshankari.
Vasantha Aunty spoke passionately on the life of Dr. Maria Montessori. She explained, how Dr. Maria Montessori first worked with children of special needs and transformed their skills. Then Dr. Montessori focused her efforts on children from the slums of Italy. She observed that with minimal guidance, the right learning material and a lot of independence, the children began channeling their enter into constructive learning activities.
Vasantha aunty wrapped up her speech by pointing out that every child goes through a “Sensitive Period”. It’s that precious time in a child’s life, when he or she absorbs everything. So not only is the child learning at an amazing rate, the capacity to retain that information during the “Sensitive Period” is the highest. What a child learns during the Sensitive Period remains with the child for the whole of a child’s life. So Vasantha Aunty cautioned us that when a child is highly absorbed in an activity, any activity, let the child be. That child is learning. Any interruption then would take away that golden moment from it.
Some of the parents who could not arrange for their children to stay at home, brought them along. It was heartening to see the young ones doodling away with full concentration totally oblivious to the discussion happening around them!
Below are some pictures of the Orientation Program. Do enjoy the same. We’d love to hear from you as always. Till next time, read this touching poem that was shared by Rameeza, our primary teacher, at the program.
by Ray A. Lingenfelter
I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there,
The clay they used was a young child’s mind
And they fashioned it with care.
One was a teacher;
the tools she used were books and music and art;
One was a parent with a guiding hand and a gentle loving heart.
And when at last their work was done
They were proud of what they had wrought
For the things they had worked into the child
Could never be sold or bought.
And each agreed she would have failed
If she had worked alone
For behind the parent stood the school,
and behind the teacher stood the home.