The events of the past week have been heartbreaking and tragic. This week we have seen the brutal murder of George Floyd by white police officers, and the reaction and protests from all over the U.S and the world. Our new Board President of the American Montessori Society, a Black Muslim who has been a leader in public school Montessori schools, is quoted in this week’s AMS bulletin,
“Now is the time for us to be intentionally anti-racist, and to denounce and call out injustices that are occurring right before our eyes—injustices that impact the students, parents, staff members, and schools within our community, and in some cases determine whether they live or die. It’s time to stand for, and with, justice.” - Amira Mogaji, AMS Board President.
We want our children to grow up in a peaceful world, free from racism and injustice. Unfortunately, this is not a reality, and if we approach our parenting or teaching by always protecting them from unpleasant or upsetting truths, we do them an injustice. We need to empower our children to speak up and work for racial justice. Of course, this must be done in a developmentally appropriate way. Here are some resources that you as parents and we as teachers can use to help our children learn.
Dr. Montessori was revolutionary and advocated for the education of those who were discriminated against and who needed a voice. One of her most famous quotes is that “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education.” Our work with children is important and as a Montessori school we are committed to helping our children find their voice and determine and live their own values.
We continue to be part of the problem of the systemic racism prevalent in our society if we do not actively do what we can to raise awareness and learn how we can participate. Our children will be deciding the future. They will be the citizens who will be leaders and voters. We need to consider what we are teaching them and how we can influence them to actively engage in working for justice.
“Our task as educators is to ensure that an intense consciousness of universal solidarity will flourish in our children… This is the great task of education: to make the child conscious of the reality and depth of human unity”
~Maria Montessori. “Human Solidarity in Time and Space” The San Remo Lectures, 1949. Amsterdam: AMI, 2003/2004
Susan Kambrich, Ed..D, Head of School
Michelle Edwards, Incoming Head of School