Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Preparation of the Teacher: A Ramble on Pancakes & Smiles

I am a very lucky person.  Day and night, I'm surrounded by beautiful, creative, energetic children.  I teach at a Montessori School, and work with my own children with Montessori Principles and Materials.  It is a lot of work, and a careful balance.  I realize that I do have to take care of my own needs, to be ready to support the children at school and at home.  Sometimes, my time alone consists of reading or singing in the car to silly old rap songs.  When I feel stress getting at me, I make this time for myself.  I have to be ready.  My goal in life is to always be spiritually ready for children.  The teacher (and Mom!) can work herself to exhaustion, preparing the classroom or home painstakingly:  and then end up cranky and not ready to receive the children.  For whom we work tirelessly for?  It can't be.

One of the teachers I had at training talked at length about the Preparation of the Teacher, and I think about that talk every day.  If we don't have a good attitude, what message does that send?  I smile a lot at school, and at home.  I feel that it sends a message that the children are safe, in kind hands, and supported by me at any task. Today I overheard a conversation between two children at school that warmed my heart.  A little boy was talking to a little girl, saying that they love me because I smile and I smell like pancakes.  The point is just that.  They didn't mention that they like me because I put out new work, help them make friends, or taught them a continent song.  It was a smile, and my home-like scent.

I think about home.  I know in my heart that my girls need me ready.  It's not the things we provide or prepare in life, it's how you make them feel.  Moms and teachers have the power to do this :)  How wonderful!