One morning in early March it was cold and drizzly outside. I gave the children the option of staying outside with me or going inside to the classroom with my assistant. When I poked my head in to see if anyone in the hallway needed my help changing out of their gear, I was greeted with this beautiful sight.
Since October we have all worked together to learn to hang up our coats and snowpants and tidy up our outdoor shoes by our lockers. It has been six months! But look at this sweet result. The children who chose to come inside organized their coats and shoes by themselves.
As Montessori teachers, we are not disappointed when children are not able to follow directions or unable to do exercises correctly. We do not grade their abilities, but rather try to quietly guide the attainment of these abilities.
Dr. Montessori described it like this, " The Montessori teacher is constantly looking for a child who is not yet there ..." and "The teacher, when she begins to work in our schools, must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work. " - The Absorbent Mind
The sandbox will be open on Monday and these coats will be left at home. But next October, the owners of these coats will help the new children learn how we take care of our outdoor clothing. December's snow will bring absolute anarchy to this hallway and January's ice cold wind will have us convinced that we might not ever match 42 boots with 21 children. But by March we will see this same, orderly scene. It happens every year. The children learn to take care of themselves.